Now Playing: July 2019


This time out the group of games I played are from April through mid-July. There’s 12 in total with only three finished. Here we go!

The first game on tap is also one of the three I beat: Ghost Squad. This home port of Sega’s arcade light gun shooter works well on the Wii. I don’t have the plastic zapper shell for the controller, but you obviously don’t need it since there isn’t any additional hardware built in. It was a very fun and repeatable three mission structure with some alternate paths to take. I particularly liked earning and using the additional weapons and outfits available. The latter can get somewhat comical at times since the player character is the only one who changes outfits with the rest of the squad remaining in normal gear.

I was looking forward to getting into a new beat-’em-up with Batman: The Brave and the Bold (also on Wii). It didn’t pan out well, however. The training before the game actually begins makes the mistake of throwing every ability at you at once. Of course, you’ll eventually forget some of them long before you’ll need them. My biggest issue was with the overall feeling of the brawling. It wasn’t as mindless fun as I was hoping for. There’s more puzzle aspects to this game’s fighting that’s often enough that it feels like the momentum of a level keeps getting interrupted. I had to check out of this game fairly early on.

Two shoot-’em-ups I played for a little bit was the TG-16’s Final Soldier (via VC) and Raiden IV: Overkill on PS3 (via PSN). The former was a fantastic time until I got slaughtered on stage 5. At least it was nice getting to that point. I can’t say as much for the latter game. I didn’t quite understand the new Overkill Mode, but the normal Arcade Mode was the typical Raiden shooting experience. In that to say it isn’t great. I enjoy the original game and the sequel, but after those (like I am with the Contra series) they don’t appeal to me as much.

Next up on the list is Ninja Spirit. The game is pretty tough until you realize that all you need is the explosive weapon 3 and it’s fairly smooth sailing from then on. I got to what I call the “ninja pit” and was stopped fully in my tracks. I don’t know exactly how to reach the bottom without being touched since it only takes one hit to kill you. It’s the last major obstacle before the final boss if I ever clear it.

Speaking of Contra, I also played, but was unsuccessful in beating Contra Rebirth. While I was able to get to level 4, I’m not exactly the best at managing the switching of the weapons. This was a gameplay mechanic that debuted in Contra III in 1992.

I’m not sure exactly what to say about Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris other than it’s available for download on PlayStation 4 and, well, it’s a Tomb Raider game. I liked it for what it was, but I definitely still prefer the traditional presentation of the series in Tomb Raider: Legend or the 2013 reboot.

More recently I’ve been playing some PlayStation 2 suggested games from readers like you. Of course, I have to already own the games because I’m not in a position to be purchasing whatever anybody suggests. First was Lifeline, the USB audio voice directed game from Konami. I knew going in I wouldn’t be playing it very long because it doesn’t always understand was you are saying. Well, I didn’t even successfully get to the title screen as my current USB headset wasn’t compatible. Oh well. It’s not much of a loss.

ICO was another suggestion and it goes without saying that this was a much better idea. I’m not into these more artistic style of games usually so I’m not going to be as impressed with it like so many others have been. I’m happy for those people, but I’m simply not one of them. I’m at the Crane section, but I needed a more action packed distraction.

That distraction was Power Rangers Dino Thunder on PS2. In this game you don’t play as the Rangers themselves, but instead as their Zoids. I think there’s 5-6 total in the game. Zeltrax is the main boss in the game that you fight twice in very similar battles each time. Unfortunately, you never seen the TV show’s main villain, Mesogog. He’s only spoken about. This was the third game I beat.

Another suggestion I’m playing a little of is the arcade version of Bubble Bobble via Taito Legends. The best I’ve done this time around is round 7. I’ve previously hit as high as round 16.

Thanks for reading and make sure to check out my podcasts over in the sidebar.

Make These Jackals Work For Us


A sudden surprise of an addition to my gaming library was the Game Boy version of Adventure Island. And if you didn’t know it’s actually the second portable game and not the first as it may seem. Thanks to Usagi704, host of Mike at the Movies, for the game.

He’d also bought me the Back to the Future trilogy on Blu-ray as well. It was my birthday recently.

The Terminator, however, was my own purchase after the movie’s one-day rerelease into select theaters. I’d went to see it and it gave me a new appreciation for this movie in a few ways I didn’t expect. One of those ways was for the character of Lieutenant Ed Traxler played by Paul Winfield. His humor was hilarious and Traxler is now my favorite character of the 1984 film.


Thanks for reading and check out the above link to Mike at the Movies and also the podcasts here on this site.

Complete In Box Fridays: Lords of Thunder


Complete In Box Fridays is back for a Part III of sorts. Last week I talked about my copy of Castlevania Double Pack and the previous week before that I showed off Axelay. This week I give to you (not literally) Lords of Thunder!

I initially tried out Lords of Thunder via emulation a number of years prior to purchasing it. This was specifically the Sega CD version as I wasn’t aware of the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 original at the time. As for the game itself, it has an amazing heavy metal soundtrack and it’s a fantastic shoot-’em-up heralded by all those who know what a good game in the genre is. You can definitely point to Lords of Thunder as one of the all time greats.

I found my copy of the Sega CD version of Lords of Thunder on eBay back in August of 2009. It was a new copy with the case intact and not cracked. The game currently goes for $130 new and $40.50 complete.

Check out the photos below of my personal copy of the game. Make sure to click on them to enlarge the view.




Five Most Wanted Retro Titles


The following was my reply to the forum topic “Your TOP 5 Most Wanted Retro Titles” on Retroware

The question of the topic was the following.

If you could have just five retro games in mint condition, in the box, instructions included, for free right now. What five would you choose?

Before giving my own answer I checked out some of the replies that were already left. Some of the first ones were great, but eventually a number of people were listing games that are cheap to come by like Rocket Knight Adventures.

Complete mint games for free would have to be a list of hard-to-find expensive games. I say aim for the stars if you could get any game for free. I know I would and I did with my selection of games.

Gradius V
This amazing looking PlayStation 2 sequel to the Gradius series is not only hard-to-find, as most shoot-’em-ups are these days, but also pretty expensive. It goes for around $33 US for a complete copy and that doesn’t guarantee it to be in mint condition. And that’s the cheap game of this bunch. :o

Check out episode six of Substance TV for info on this game.

I like my shoot-’em-ups. Rez has a different take on that with a head-on perspective and trippy music. Sure it can be scored easily and cheaply via Xbox Live, but I figure if it was possible to get it complete and free, then the original PlayStation2 release would have to be the way to go. This game fetches around $42 currently.

Everybody knows about Ikaruga. From the style of gameplay to it being one of the more expensive shumps out there. That’s also why it was cool to see it on XBL as well since it can only be found for $45 and up depending on the version you get.

Ninja Five-O
I’m going to guess that a number of you have never heard of this Game Boy Advance game. I hadn’t either until I saw this early April episode of Video Game Take-Out. The game looks like a lot of fun, but does go for just as much as Ikaruga on the Gamecube, $45.

Wild Guns
There have been a number of great games by Natsume over the years. The main one that comes to mind is Shadow of the Ninja for the NES. Wild Guns for the Super Nintendo also has the distinction of being a great Natsume game. It also has another distinction from the rest on this list. It’s the most expensive with a complete copy going for as much as $65! :o

Check out episode two of Substance TV and episode five of the Happy Video Game Nerd for info on this game.

Enough of me. Now it’s your turn. What are your five games if you could get them for free? Remember to aim high for games that are more than you’d like to pay for.

Heavy Metal Shump Madness!

The one game that I’ve been looking to get for awhile has now been obtained. A new copy of Lords of Thunder! Also pictured below are two games left over from last month; Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu and TimeSplitters: Future Perfect.


To continue with the one game a month purchase, I figured I’d get you all involved. Below are five games from my wish list, hyperlinked to gameplay videos, that interest me the most. You can vote for two of them. The game with the most votes will be the one I go looking for in September.

Double Dragon II (GB)
Castlevania II (GB)
Einhander (PS)
Resident Evil Gaiden (GBC)
Wild Guns (SNES)

Thanks for reading and voting. Later!

Rarios Defeated!


A few days ago I was watching some of the subtitled episodes of Game Center CX. I decided to try one of the challenges that Shinya Arino was trying to do.

The challenge for episode 7 was to get a perfect 40 kills on the first bonus stage of Galaga. This was pretty easy as I was able to complete it on my first try using the GBA version of Namco Museum.

Soon after I noticed Usagi704 trying to complete the challenge from episode 5. It involves getting the 50,000 point bonus by defeating the enemy named Rarios in the shoot-’em-up game Star Force for the Famicom.

Rarios combines from all sides and if it’s hit 8 times during the one second before it forms, then the points are rewarded. Of course with a turbo controller this isn’t much fun or much of a challenge.

After watching Usagi704 try a number of times, I asked if I could give it a shot. Once again on my first try I was able to defeat Rarios and get the points! We then joked about how I somehow mustered the “golden arm” strength of Takahashi Meijin.

A little bit later I was able to do this challenge again successfully on the North American version of Star Force. Here’s the footage of it happening!

Star Soldier: Best Looking NES Game In 2008


When I went out yesterday I intended to only buy TNA Impact and Mercenaries 2: World In Flames. However, like it usually seems to happen, I picked up an additional title. This title ended up being Star Soldier for the NES. I’ve never looked into getting it, but I couldn’t pass up the absolutely beautiful looking copy that was available locally at It’s About Games. Take a look at the condition of the game in the pictures below.

Box (front) | Box (back) | Cartridge/Manual | Poster