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It’s time for another entry in my “Playing The Classics” series, where I play through some of the greatest games of all time and talk about the experience. In some instances, these are games I’ve never really delved into, and in other cases I’ve played them many times over. The choices are not an indication of rank, and it’s actually quite random. Oh, and spoilers and stuff.

This time around, the game of choice was the 1994 SNES classic “Donkey Kong Country”. 

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A little while ago, my wife and I decided it would be fun to play through a bunch of the greatest video games of all time, one by one, and see how many we could get through and enjoy them together. In a lot of instances, it was the first time completing the game for either of us, and sometimes it was even the first time playing the game at all. We didn’t come up with any particular order to do these in and are just kinda making it up as we go along. Here’s a summary of our first game playthrough, which was “The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past” for the SNES.

Before going further, I should mention that while these games are classics and you’ve probably played them, this article does contain spoilers. Just fair warning.

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NEW GAMES 9/21-22/12

It’s been a pretty excellent couple of days! The top picture is from a big purchase I made from a guy who lives not too far from me. He’s getting rid of his NES collection and I met with him and purchased 21 NES games, plus a very nice and complete Bubsy II for the Genesis. The gem of this lot for me is Galaxy 5000, a hard-to-find racing game that I have been dying to track down. I can’t begin to say how stoked I am about this. Other highlights here include the uncommon Silver Surfer, Lone Ranger and King’s Quest V, plus the non-movie-adaptation version of The Untouchables. I’ve read varying things about how unusual this version is, but it’s generally agreed upon that this version is the rarer one. The rest of the games are common to uncommon titles I simply hadn’t picked up before. I’m not going to write up each of these like I sometimes do, but rest assured - this is the most excited I’ve been about a game buy in a long time.

The second picture contains a few pickups from pawn and mom-and-pop shops today. Most were very cheap, and I added yet another NES title in Burai Fighter. Pat Riley Basketball seems like it could be kinda fun (I don’t know much about it, but I love anything basketball-related). I’ve heard nothing but great things about Cybernator and was thrilled to find it so cheap. I spent a bit more on Alisia Dragoon, which I heard about as a recommendation from a game collecting forum. I’m really looking forward to firing this one up as well.

After today, my NES game total is up to 485, and my overall collection stands at 1,252. 500 NES games is within sight!

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NEW GAMES 9/20/12 Just a small haul today.

Lode Runner (NES) - This makes NES game #463. It is by most accounts legendary title that’s on almost every older system, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never actually played it! No time like the present to fix that.

Motocross Championship (32X) - A very cheap addition to my 32X collection, which sits at an astonishing 7, even if you count my CD+32X version of Night Trap. Which I do! Including CD games, the 32X has a whopping 36 titles, so maybe 7 isn’t so bad!

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New pics of my game collection! This is everything except for a few consoles that I don’t currently have room for.

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NEW GAMES 9/13/12

I’m back on the collecting wagon! Had some cool finds at a garage sale and a local shop today. Here’s the rundown:

Super Empire Strikes Back (SNES) - The second in a trilogy of really great 16-bit adaptations of the original trilogy. These were released twice - first by JVC, and later by THQ. This copy is the latter. It doesn’t match my JVC Super Star Wars, but that’s no big deal.

Quattro Adventure (NES) - One of a small series of unlicensed NES games. These aren’t too rare but I never got around to getting this one.

Killer Instinct (GB) - Notoriously terrible port of a legendary fighting game. I couldn’t resist getting this.

Prince of Persia (NES) - I don’t know much about this version, but I know it’s a bit hard to find. I’m curious to see how it translates to this platform.

Mario Bros. (NES) - How did I never get around to getting this one? A total classic.

Road Runner (NES) - Another unlicensed game, and an arcade port. I’ve heard good things about this but don’t know much else about it.

Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle (Genesis) - I’ve played a game from this series on Master System, and I’ve heard this called the best in the series. While Sega was certainly wise to change mascots from Alex Kidd to Sonic, these games are not without their charm. It’s a solid franchise.

TOTALS - I’m up to 1,224 total games, including 462 NES games. I’m excited to be back in a collecting mood again, and hope to keep inching my way towards 500 NES titles. I expect it may take a while, but I’m glad to have this goal within my sights.

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NEW GAME (and BOOKS) 5/11/12

It’s been a while, but this was a super fun find that more than makes up for it.

X-Men (NES) - This game is notoriously awful, but I really love anything X-Men related. I also tend to enjoy things that are notoriously bad, so this is sort of a weird win-win. Maybe.

"How to Win At Nintendo Games" 1 & 2 - At $2 each, I absolutely had to have these. At first glance it appears to contain minimal strategy and overviews of a lot of popular NES games. I haven’t checked, but I’d like to think that the "How To Win" section about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles simply reads "You can’t, so don’t try". In any case, these books are an awesome relic from the NES era and I guarantee I will read them both cover to cover. There also appears to be a third book in this series, so I’ll have to keep an eye out for that.

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Over the last 15+ years, I’ve played a lot of Magic. While I definitely don’t remember every game I’ve ever played, I doubt I’ve had a single turn in a game as epically awesome as one I had in an EDH game earlier today. You can see the result of the turn in the above photo.

The setup for this turn involves two main cards - Jace, Memory Adept and my commander Animar, Soul of Elements. Animar started the turn with, I believe, 3 counters on him. After using Jace’s ultimate ability to draw 20 cards, I ran off a run of 11 straight creatures, several of them for free, ending with Urabrask the Hidden to let them all attack immediately.

This combo is one that I’ve wanted to pull off with this deck for a while, and the payoff did not disappoint. My Animar deck isn’t always this explosive, but it’s fun to see what it can do.

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  • Question: I'd love to see that bruna decklist soon! - enigmatheo
  • Answer:

    Ask and you shall receive!

    You can find the list right here. I can’t recommend Bruna as a commander enough. It’s tons of fun. There’s a few cards I’d still like to track down for this, but I’m very happy with how it looks right now.

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There’s a pretty epic looking Magic set coming out in a few weeks called Avacyn Restored. One card that particularly caught my eye:

Pretty cool, right? It’s a pretty unique and cool ability, and would make for a great commander for, well, Commander. I’m a big fan of recursion of any kind, and between the built-in recursion of the Commander rule and the recursion Bruna offers, there’s plenty of opportunities for shenanigans.

I currently have a Uril, The Miststalker EDH deck that, like Bruna, demands whole big bunch of auras. There’s a problem with Uril, though - it’s basically a 100-card dick move. It’s not fun to play against, and as a casual player I feel almost dirty using it. When I saw Bruna, I saw a solution - I could make the deck more fun and more fair with the help of this little white/blue angel.

So, to make a long story short, I made the necessary changes and sleeved it up. Of course, there was the issue of getting Bruna, which isn’t out yet. No matter - I made a totally awesome proxy:

After this, I tried it out for a few games. I’m happy to say that it is considerably more interesting, fair and fun than its douchey, hexproof counterpart. A couple of fun things I noticed:

  • Getting a Totem Armor enchantment or two on Bruna makes her incredibly hard to kill. Even if they’re removed, they come right on back.
  • Need to move stuff around in a pinch? Glamer Spinners is the ultimate combat trick for this deck.
  • Being able to pitch Auras to Compulsion to get even more Auras (or other good stuff), and then bring everything back, is totally sweet.
  • Eldrazi. Effing. Conscription. If this sticks, it’s game over.

I’ll post a full decklist at…some point. In the meantime, just know that Bruna EDH freaking owns.

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NEW GAMES 4/8/12

The Simpsons Wrestling (PS1) - I’ve heard rather dubious things about the quality of this, but I have a soft spot for anything Simpsons related. 

Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii) - I couldn’t help but notice the hype this game has been getting. I’m not super into JRPG’s but the phrase “best JRPG ever” doesn’t get thrown around easily. My hopes are that my gaming ADD affords me the time to make it through this and see what all the fuss is about.

Super Star Wars (SNES) - I’ve had my eye on this trilogy for a while now, and I found this for a GREAT price. If it’s as good as I’m hoping I will definitely seek out the next two.

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Earlier today I passed 50,000 scrobbles on last.fm. If you haven’t jumped on the super awesome last.fm bandwagon, here’s what it’s all about - it’s a free music community that provides for customized radio stations and has plugins for virtually every music player out there that will track what you listen to (this is the aforementioned “scrobbling”) in order to enhance your experience. Or, in a nutshell, think Pandora, but with far better and geekier features. My favorite thing about it is the stats - the number of songs you’ve listened to, the number of plays of any particular song, and the artists I listen to most.

I’ve occasionally labored over who my favorite bands are, but last.fm allows me to determine that with the glory of STATISTICS! In honor of reaching 50,000 plays I’ve decided to look back at the top artists on my all time list. As my last.fm page highlights the top 15 artists I’ve listened to, I’ll do the same here.

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NEW GAMES 4/1/12

The Last Starfighter (NES) - It’s a video game based on a movie about a video game. This would go great with Street Fighter: The Movie: The Game if I had it.

Gun.Smoke (NES) - This came with a strong recommendation from a friend and fellow collector. There aren’t a lot of western-themed games from this era. I’m looking forward to trying this out.

Kirby’s Pinball Land (GBC) - My wife knows a lot more about this game than I do, and thought it would be a good pickup. After playing it for a while today, I’m inclined to agree - however, in doing so I discovered that my Game Boy Color’s sound stopped working. It’s my only device that plays GB/GBC games, as I no longer have a Game Boy Advance either. I’ll have to track down a replacement one of these days. Maybe one of those super cool NES-style Game Boy Advance SP’s.

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Ever wanted to see Nine Inch Nails on Dance Party USA? Well, here you go. 

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NEW GAMES 3/28/12

Spider-Man/X-Men: Arcade’s Revenge (SNES) - I don’t know much about this but the subject matter seems thoroughly up my alley. LJN has a bit of a rocky reputation as a game publisher but I enjoyed a few of their NES titles, especially Wolverine. They are also responsible, however, for the abomination that is Bill & Ted’s Excellent Video Game Adventure, which is just about my least favorite game ever. So…we’ll see, I guess.

MVP Baseball 2005 (XBX) - Four words: Create. A. Ballpark. In addition to that, this is a highly regarded series that I haven’t spent a lot of time with. With the exception of the always outstanding ‘The Show’ series for Sony platforms, this might’ve been the last baseball game worth owning.