Sunday, October 4, 2020

Final Thoughts - Days Gone (Playstation 4)

After countless long nights and who knows how many hours I've put into Days Gone, I have successfully completed the main game. What a ride.

Some reviews I've read online complained about the story, or the repetitive gameplay, or the bugs in the game, but I found it not only to be a fun game, but a story that drew me in and kept me wanting to play so I could advance the story. Now that I completed the game and have the whole picture, I wanted to return and share my final thoughts.

Like with any game there are positives and negatives. We'll start off with the positives.


* The story: The game opens up with a flashback scene somewhere in Oregon. Buildings are on file, you can screens and gun shots. People are running from their lives. From what? It's not clear, but you know it's bad. Deacon St. John, the main character, is on the move trying to escape the city with his wife, Sarah as well as his best friend, Boozer. His wife is injured and the scene ends with Deacon putting her on a NERO (National Emergency Response Organization) helicopter.

Fast forward two years and Deacon and Boozer are held up in a observatory tower trying to survive. There are three different camps that survivors have built up. You can run errands for them, gaining credits (in game currency) as well as building your trust with each camp. The higher the trust, the better weapons and upgrades for your bike you can purchase. Most of this is optional, but highly recommended as it does help flesh out points of the story, as well as help you later on in the game.

The cause behind the outbreak is not known, but you do see NERO helicopters later in the game that have researchers checking out points of interest. You know there is more going on to the story, but you have to keep playing to figure out how NERO works into the overall story. In the midst of this, you are presented with more flashbacks pre-outbreak of Deacon and Sarah. Most of these scenes help set the stage on how Deacon and Sara met. Some of these are playable scenes while others are just cinematic. I like it when the story jumps back and forth as it helps keep you interested, getting little glimpses of how everything is tied together.

Towards the end of the game you infiltrate a militia camp and this is where I felt the game was ratcheted up a notch, in both the story and gameplay. You get access to new weapons and better gear as you have two new camps you can run errands for. There are even new Freakers to kill, the zombie like creatures that now exists because of the outbreak.

* Gameplay: This may be debatable for some, but I loved the gameplay. From the motorcycle travel, to the gun play, crafting and even the inventory management - it all feels pretty authentic. 

I've never been on a motorcycle before, but playing this game makes me want to jump on a dirt bike and hit the road. At first it's a little tedious riding your bike because you are constantly running low on gas and have to pause your current objective in order to search for gas. Luckily you can always find a gas canister on the back of a tow truck, at a NERO checkpoint or fill up at any camp. Once you're able to upgrade your bike some the traversing the large open world map is so satisfying. You can fast travel between camps, but I found myself wanting to drive there just because it was fun.

Weapons. You can only carry three weapons at a time, your main gun, a sidearm and your special weapon. You also start off with a boot knife and can pick up a melee weapon (which can be upgraded). I like it when you are limited to what you can carry as it feels more authentic. You see all of your weapons on your character at all times, another nice touch in my opinion. You have rifles, automatic weapons, shotguns, sniper rifles and more and all of them are so fun to use on the neverending supply of Freakers you'll face.

In addition to your weapons, you can also craft throwables such as pipe bombs, molotov cocktails, smoke bombs and attractors to lure Freakers. Many of these I never used much of in my initial playthrough and what a mistake that was. You can also craft health packs which you'll need. At times it may feel like a collect-a-thon as you'll constantly be picking up items, but you'll need them as you'll go through some of the craftable items quickly at times. It's easy to craft anything and you can even do it as you're running around, though you can't craft while on your bike.

Inventory is managed using a onscreen wheel you can bring up at any time. When doing so the game does not stop, but does slow down. This allows you to change weapons or craft an item while running or shooting, but with you still being vulnerable you have to be careful. 

* Freakers / Hordes: Freakers are fast moving zombie like creatures. I look at them as a cross between the cave dwellers from the movie The Descent crossed with zombies from the movie 20 Days Later. They are ugly, make blood curdling noises and can be a pain in the butt to kill at times...especially when you encounter a horde of them. At the onset of the game you just encounter "normal" Freakers, but later on you come across more advanced versions, similar to the zombies in Valve's Left 4 Dead franchise.

At first I ran from hordes as there was no way I was equipped to take one on, but once you get the proper gear (and the guts) to take them on oh what fun it can be. Don't get me wrong, there are times when the story tasks you with taking out a horde and it can be frustrating, but there are so many different strategies you can use that part of the fun is trial and error.

* Graphics: This game is beautiful. The Oregon countryside is gorgeous, whether you're in the woods, the rocky terrain or in the snow. The changing weather and day and night cycle are also great. Watching the ground underneath your bike change area to area or during the rain or snow is equally as impressive. The character models are also done well and the Freakers are pretty eerie looking.


* Stealth Missions: The NERO agent (O'Brien) that takes your wife to safety at the beginning of the movie later crosses paths with Deacon and eventually asks you for help in exchange for information. These missions involve sneaking around a NERO landing site and eavesdropping on NERO researches. The problem is these researches are always accompanied by NERO soldiers. You can't harm or kill these guys and if you are spotted you have to re-start the mission. You have to use stealth tactics to sneak around, throwing rocks to distract the soldiers while you run from cover to cover. In some case have to follow the moving researcher which can be tough to stay hidden, yet stay within ear shot. I hated these missions even though they are there to help advance the story.


* Bugs & Glitches: For a AAA title such as this, I didn't expect to find so many bugs in the game...even more so since I didn't play the game until after it had been out for some time. There were times while playing the frame rate would just drop, barely chugging along. I also found times were the textures just disappeared and I'd be surrounded by smooth, nondescript landscape. These glitches didn't ruin the game for me, but it was a little annoying at times and ultimately disappointing.


I give this game a solid A+. The open world exploration and large map will keep you busy, even after you complete the main game. I'm sort of a completionist when I play these games so I opted to complete all of the side missions and optional objectives before I tackled the final mission, but you can play the game however you like. I don't want to spoil the ending of the game, but it has an awesome secret ending you can unlock that leaves a doozy of a story twist. It seems as if this game falls into the Syphon Filter game universe, a game franchise I'm not familiar with...but may have to look into now. Days Gone is a great game with a few hiccups here and there. I've enjoyed the game so much I'm now playing the New Game Plus on Hard II difficulty and I'm finding it to be just as much fun a second time around. Highly recommended...even at full price I feel this is purchase worthy.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Initial Thoughts - Days Gone (Playstation 4)

I've been trying to find time to write this post for weeks...but I've been so drawn into this game that I've had a hard time putting down the controller and pulling up the blog. 

Days Gone is an action/adventure horror survival type game which also is a Playstation 4 exclusive. Like a lot of AAA titles, I was late coming to this game, purchasing it early in 2020 once the price dropped to $20. So far, this has been money well spent.

I'll be honest, going into this game I knew very little. All I knew is that it was supposed to be a big PS4 exclusive and it was now cheap. I knew it was open world and that appealed to me. Coming off playing Horizon Zero Dawn, this game felt very natural to me. The visuals were beautiful and the story was intriguing, two positive checks on my list.

At the time of this post I've made my way through the majority of the I said, I've hard a hard time putting down the controller so I could write this. I've enjoyed the game so much however that I just had put my thoughts on "paper".

You play as Deacon St. John (love the name by the way), a former motorcycle gang/military guy, stuck in rural Oregon during the end of days. Something has happened to the world's population and now these mutated creatures prowl the earth. Known as freakers, these ugly creatures remind me a little of the monsters from the movie The Descent. They prefer darkness so at night they are numerous and during the day the majority of them "hibernate" inside caves and other small/dark places.

The game opens however with some cutscenes that give you just a small piece of the story. Deacon, his girlfriend, Sarah and your best friend, Boozer, are trying to escape from a city (Portland?). Sarah is injured and placed on a helicopter used by the NERO organization. She is flown to safety while you and Boozer try to escape the overrun city. The story is only given to you in bits and pieces and you eventually find out that the camp Sarah was flown too was overrun by freakers and she died. Much of the early story is Deacon trying to come to grips with this and overcoming his own bereavement.

It's not that often that I fall in love with a game so quickly. Usually I have to put in several hours before I know if this is something I want to put a lot of time into. Time is precious and I'm a man of many hobbies so if I'm going to sink a lot of time into a game it has to be really good. Days Gone is that for me.

I love the idea of a zombie like post apocalyptic story/setting...reminds me a lot of the Walking Dead. The varied settings really help keep the game interesting. I'm currently in the southern portion of the world map and wow, what a difference it makes from the first half of the game. 

I'm enjoying the gun play and other weapons, especially as I'm unlocking better and better items. Riding a motorcycle has never been more fun. Sometimes I just enjoy riding around and doing whatever I want to versus taking on one of the many missions in the game. My youngest daughter would rather watch gameplay than play games (most of the time) and even though the language can be salty and the game can be violent, I've put the TV on mute and let her watch when I'm not doing story based missions. 

I've run into a few issues with the game thus far, but nothing that has made me want to stop playing. I'm anxiously awaiting to finish off the story and hopefully getting more answers to my questions as I've started to become attached and sympathetic to many of the characters. I'll leave it at this. If you like open world type games and or horror survival, at $20 you really can't go wrong. I'll be back with a "Final Thoughts" post after I'm done with the game...whenever that may be.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Retro Store Visit: TF Games

Last month (July) we visited some family stationed at Fort Knox in Kentucky. In the little town of Radcliffe just outside the base I saw a game store. I asked my brother-in-law about the shop and he said it was pretty cool, citing they sold older games in addition to modern games. My wife was gracious enough to give me some time one afternoon so I could check out this store along with a comic shop I also saw.

Upon walking into the store I was very impressed. It was well lit and bright. The walls and floor were white so that helped brighten things up. Immediately to the right upon walking in were large glass cases. This is where all of the 8 ad 16 bit games were housed. Instead of the games just being stacked up on shelves, they were nicely arranged and the shelves had a nice overall presentation. PS2, Wii and GameCube games were on open shelves to the left of the glass cases. The other side of the store had a section of video game apparel before giving way to more open shelves that housed PS3/PS4, Xbox 360/Xbox One games.

There was a section at the back of the store that had accessories, handheld games and a whole section with TVs with various consoles hooked up. I was impressed with how neat and clean everything was and the staff was very polite and courteous.

When I visit these mom & pop type stores I have to buy something and show them my support. Since I have so many retro and modern consoles in my game room I gave each platform a good look over before making my purchases.

I first settled on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves for the NES. I still have a copy of Nintendo Power that has a detailed walk through/review of this game, plus it was priced fairly and it's a game that I don't see in the wild that often. Next I grabbed Alice: Madness Returns for the PS3. I would have rather found the 360 version as that is my platform of choice from that generation, but this game doesn't seem to show up very often and when I have found the game it's been expensive.

Upon checking out I noticed in the display case by the register their selection of PSP games. While I didn't find any PSP games that I wanted, I did spy two UMD movies that I couldn't pass up...especially since they were each priced at just $2.99. I have a small collection of horror movies, particularly slashers, so these were a nice find.

This is a great shop and I highly recommend you give them a visit if you're ever in the area. Great selection, more than fair prices and great, friendly staff.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Transformers A.R.T.S.: Mega Drive Megatron

Nearly 5 years ago two of my favorite hobbies collided...Transformers and video games...specifically the Sega Mega Drive (or Genesis in the west). Takara Tomy created a new line of Transformers entitled A.R.T.S. and the first (and only) releases were Megatron and a Sony Playstation themed Optimus Prime.

Even to this day I'm not sure how or why this collaboration happened, but I'm glad it did as it's one of the more interesting versions of Megatron in my collection.

Megatron comes packaged in a beautiful box with some nice artwork. The background has a nice space image with a transitioning G1 style grid in the center. "16-BIT" is very prominent in the center of box, which is an obvious reference to the original Sega Mega Drive video game console.

The back of the box has some nice images of Megatron in both his video game console form as well as his robot form. It also shows off some of the features of the toy such as the reset button on the console, the included controller and even a small Sonic the Hedgehog video game cartridge.

The front of the box is actually a flap that opens up to reveal Megatron in is robot mode. Inside the box flap you can see the classic Japanese Mega Drive logo that Sega once used, above the Mega Drive console. Leave it to Takara Tomy to have a beautiful overall presentation to this release.

Megatron is packaged in a form fitting plastic tray. His "fusion cannon", Sonic cartridge and Mega Drive controller are also packaged beside Megatron. No twisty ties or plastic bands are to be had! I did have fight a little to get him out of his "plastic prison" however.

Megatron's fusion cannon is actually the side of the Mega Drive console. Front the front its not as obvious, but from the year you can see the console's reset button and headphone volume slider switch.

While some liberties were taken with the overall look of Megatron's robot mode, there is no mistake who this is meant to be. Just look at that head sculpt! I don't personally care how the 16-BIT logo looks on the lower portion of Megatron's chest, but overall I do like the look of the robot.

Surprisingly he features all your normal points of articulation in his arms, hips and legs. At first I had a hard time getting him to stand, but I later noticed I didn't have his heel pieces extended.

Where this toy shines in my opinion is in console mode. The detail they were able to cram into this thing is amazing. Granted this came out before the current Sega Mega Drive / Genesis mini video game console, this was the smallest version of the iconic hardware I have seen. All of the features are here...from the raised ring around the cartridge slot, to the blue power button and the headphone volume slider.

Obviously this is a non-working video came console, but I love how it also came with a tiny Sonic the Hedgehog cartridge and a controller that actually plugs into the console! By the way, the cartridge doesn't do anything. It doesn't transform, but it does have a nice re-creation of the original Japanese Mega Drive Sonic label. It can he inserted into Megatron's chest in robot mode...but why would you want to do that?

The included controller is modeled after the original 3 button controller. The d-pad does move as well as the face buttons can be depressed ever so slightly. As you can see from the line down the center of the controller, this does split into halves and can be stored on the back of Megatron in robot mode. I didn't care for this as it made it look like Megatron had wings and just looked silly to me. My other gripe about the controller is the cord is too short. It's a minor complaint as it serves its point and looks great when plugged into the console.

Since the release of both Megatron and Optimus, Takara Tomy has released several other Transformers outside of the current series. We've had transforming pens, cell phones and now I believe a watch is coming out next. I know these type of releases aren't for everyone, but in this case this was a marriage made in heaven for me. Today on the secondary market this version of Megatron may set you back $100-$150. It's a fun piece, but definitely for die hard collectors only.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

GI Joe: War on Cobra

While I'm not a huge fan of mobile gaming, every once in awhile a game comes along that I find interesting enough to download and take up some precious memory on my iPhone. The latest game that I seem to be playing for a few minutes each day is GI Joe: War on Cobra by Emerald City Games.

I'm going out on a limb to guess this game was released as Hasbro is gearing up another run of GI Joe action figures for retail shelves later this summer with GI Joe Classified. I say this is just a guess because the art style in the War on Cobra mobile game is more stylized and definitely different than the more serious tone the Classified series of action figures seems to be going with.

Upon downloading the game and launching it for the first time it had a very familiar feel. If your familiar with or have played the Transformers: Earth Wars, this is more of the same basically. If you enjoyed Earth Wars then this is good news. If Earth Wars wasn't your cup of tea, you still may want to try this one out.

The premise of the game is quite simple. 1) Build your headquarters to defend itself from the opposition's attack. 2) Go out into the field and attack the opposition's headquarters to win medals and materials. Each character or vehicle will have a predetermined point value (battle points), shown with a small red lightning bolt and a number. This is what it "costs" you to deploy that character/vehicle. You'll start with so many battle points to launch your attack. With each item or weapon you destroy of the opposition you'll be rewarded with more battle points. You can constantly launch your characters as long as you have battle points available. Once you run out and your last character dies, you have lost the fight and you'll go back to the map.

The interesting thing about War on Cobra is that you actually get to play both of the warring factions. I've always enjoyed the Cobra side of GI Joe more than the Joes themselves so I started off by selecting the Baroness and Cobra. This is where I've spent the most of my time playing the game - building up my volcano based headquarters with all sorts of weapons and traps. However playing the Joes has been fun too as I've unlocked different types of characters and vehicles to use and this keeps it fresh - going back and forth between the two factions.

If you select the Joes the first character you get to use is Roadblock. I love the Sigma-6 esque look to the character models. Roadblock will lay down a heavy layer of fire for you, but it's fairly slow moving on the battlefield.

Each character/vehicle has a different class. Roadblock falls into the Epic class, which is basically the top tier. You can level up your character/vehicle with gold and cards you get in the game. This will help improve the stats - health, range, damage and speed. You can also rank up your character using different items you unlock or are awarded with.

This is one of those games it tempts you to spend real world money on. Build your mini gun turret faster, buy in game currency to level up your get the drill. If you are patient and come back to the game at least once a day, you are awarded with free loot that will range from cards for your characters/vehicles to gold or even diamonds...which is basically the games currency.

I've been playing the game for several weeks now and have enjoyed it. Since starting I've managed to unlock several characters such as...

Each character has their own characteristics and attack style, making it tough sometimes to choose your army for attack. Snake Eyes for example will make short work of Cobra Troopers, while Gung-Ho or Bazooka can take out stronger enemies and weapons much faster. There are drawbacks for each character as well such as the larger characters are usually slower and land mines can take them out.

Once you've played the game for a bit you can start to unlock vehicles. This is where the game can really get fun...and tough at the same time. Knowing what vehicle to use makes a difference. Add one of your characters to the vehicle will unlock even more firepower.

All of the levels take place on the coast so you have a limited area where you can deploy water based vehicles. Sometimes you may have a battle that consists solely on the water, but most of the time is both land/water battles. I started with a lowly Devilfish, then unlocked the more powerful Megalodon. Most recently I unlocked the MOBAT and I love using it.

Above is what the map looks like. This is where you get to launch your attacks from. If the icon with the name shows a character, GI Joe in this case, then you are attacking the base of another player. If the icon is a generic crosshairs I believe these levels are just generic. The number below the icon tells you the level of the base. Obviously the higher the number, the more difficult the fight could be. As you level up your HQ's radar dish, you can expand upon the area on the map in which you can attack. The more options you have the better because your army may not be quite ready to take on some of the higher levels. You do have however the option of spending gold to swap out that tougher HQ. It may be replaced with a lower level or it may be replaced with an equally tough fight.

Earlier I mentioned that I started the game by choosing Cobra. I'm glad that (most of) the characters are different and play different as it makes it fun going back and forth playing both sides. I've devoted most of my time and resources to building up the Cobra side of things.

You start off your Cobra army with the Baroness. She starts off a little weak in the health department, but her ability is one shot, one kill on most enemies. Deploy her behind your front line of B.A.T.s or Cobra Troopers and she can be a pain in the butt for the Joes.

Eventually I unlocked Destro and Storm Shadow. Destro is meh in my book so I don't use him much. Scrap Iron is a lot of fun as he deploys and controls from a distance a little rocket pod. This is one of first characters you can use to take out airborne enemies. Storm Shadow is quite versatile and plays a lot like Snake Eyes.

I love deploying armies of B.A.T.s, then following them up with a some ground fire by a group of Cobra Troopers or SAW Vipers that I recently unlocked.

Cobra has always had some awesome vehicles and I'm glad to see that some of these have made their way into the game. Like with the Joes vehicles, drop a character into the vehicle and you'll have more firepower. The Maggot for instance. Standalone it will fire a machine gun from the front. With a pilot it will use it's massive cannon to launch spiked projectile bombs at your enemies!

I understand that mobile games can't compare to console games, however that doesn't mean that they can't be least in small chunks. Being a GI Joe fan I'm just happy that there is something new out there. The fact that the game is well designed and fun to play is a bonus. If you decide to download the game (it's free by the way) just pack some patience. Don't spend your real hard earned money on anything in the game just because you get frustrated or you don't want to wait. To me at least it's made to be played in short sessions. Enjoy it for what it is...a fun and somewhat addictive mobile game. Yo Joe!

Friday, May 8, 2020

Final Thoughts - Detroit: Become Human

I realize that I haven't been as active with this blog as I would have liked to be. While I have been playing a few games here and there, it's been awhile since I really dove myself into a big thematic modern video game. I recently however came back to a game I started last fall and finished it so I thought I'd do another "Final Thoughts" type post.

I received Detroit: Become Human the Christmas of 2018 and unfortunately it sat on my shelf for almost a year before I finally took the shrink wrap off the case and installed it on my PS4. I asked for this game because I thought it looked beautiful and sounded interesting. It did remind me a little of Until Dawn's gameplay, a game I had previously completed and enjoyed. I know the game didn't live up to it's hype and it didn't take long for the game's price to be reduced to $19.99, but that didn't stop me from wanting to try it out first hand.

Once you start up the game you're asked to take a survey. This survey asks you all sorts of questions regarding androids and your thoughts on them among other things. Obviously I wasn't expecting this when I first fired up the game.

This android also helps walk you through the set up of the game, asking you questions about the settings and for confirmation. I immediately knew I was in for an immersive experience.

Detroit: Become Human is less of a typical video game and more of an interactive movie or story. If you're old enough to remember the old youth "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, this is basically what you are getting. You get to control the actions and make decisions for 3 different androids in each of their own stories. The setting is a future Detroit.

The game opens with a hostage scenario where you are introduced to and control Connor. He has been programmed to track down these "deviant" androids that are breaking free of their programming. He is tasked to partner up with a Detroit detective, Lt. Hank Anderson (played by Clancy Brown). You've already seen via Markus and Kara how some humans view, interact with and treat or think about androids, but the relationship and story between Connor and Hank takes it to the next level.

Throughout your journey with these android characters you'll see how your choices are influencing the story in game. Right off the bat you have to negotiate with a deviant android who has taken a little girl hostage. As you do try to unravel the events that lead to this point, you'll see that the more info you have and how you talk to the deviant your chances at a positive outcome are.

Next we have Markus, an android that is the caretaker for an elderly painter. The game starts out pretty simple, your task is to retrieve a paint order from the local store. On the way back to the bus stop you see a small group of demonstrators that have gathered in a common area of town. The organizer of the group has a megaphone and he's talking to the crowd about how androids cost him his job and how androids will be the downfall of the human civilization basically. This is where you have your first choice to make. Once spotted, do you chose to interact or ignore? When accosted, do you fight back or do you remain civil? A little bit later you are introduced to the painter's son, who comes by the house a little intoxicated. He asks for money, which he is denied. The son thinks that his dad cares more for the android than him. This causes the son to get in the face of Markus, yelling obscenities and again making you make choices that will effect the story. This is where Markus reaches his breaking point and seems to break free of his programing.

Lastly you are introduced to Kara, a housekeeper type android. She is just coming back online after being repaired and is now inside a CyberLife store waiting to be picked up by her owner. The guy mentions to the sales rep that his android was hit by a car, but immediately I begun to think that didn't seem right. Once you get him you are introduced to the owner's daughter, Alice. While doing some menial housework, her story starts to unfold even more. The father turns out to be a real douchebag and I immediately felt resentment and anger towards him. Then when he abuses his daughter, Alice, it made me want revenge. Kara is told to stand still, but when she sees him go upstairs with a belt in his hand she betrays that command and "breaks free". 

The game is broken up into chapters for each character. Throughout each chapter you'll find yourself facing multiple decisions. Sometimes the "correct" decision may be obvious, but not always. If you view yourself as person with morals or even faith, you may find yourself answering the questions as if you were a part of the story yourself. Or you can chose to approach things with a more aggressive approach...which is easy considering how nasty these android characters are treated as the story unfolds. At the end of each chapter you are giving a map of sorts showing you the choices you made. This is where you'll see all the different branching paths for that character's journey. Answer correctly and the story goes a little longer. Answer wrong, and that chapter may end abruptly. Thankfully after a chapter is completed you can re-start that chapter if you want to answer the questions differently to see how it effects the overall story.

I give the creators major props for this game. While it may not suite everyone's tastes, the story is very captivating and heart breaking at times. If I'm being honest I found it hard to answer some of the questions. Of course I'm trying to figure out the correct answer, or the answer that will take me the furthest, but being who I am I tried to answer all the questions honestly. I tried to "do the right thing". The whole plot of the story is that these "deviant" androids are wanting to be recognized by humans as being living beings, wanting to be free and want to abolish slavery. Perhaps this resonated with me so much because I've been helping my 4th grade daughter with her homework on the Emancipation Proclamation. Or perhaps it resonated with me because I have morals and that I recognize that slavery is wrong. That's what kept me playing this game and ultimately brought me back to finish this game. The story is powerful. The story is sad. The story is captivating.

In closing I can see why this game may not have sold that well. This game is different. This game tackles real world social issues...from a different angle of course. It's not a fast paced, intense action oriented game. It's a slow paced, methodical game. If you're up to trying something different then I highly recommend the game. It does seem like you're watching a movie more than playing a game, but if you do decide to give it a try then buckle up as you're in for a rollercoaster of a ride (and maybe emotions?).

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Gaming Relics

If you're into collecting retro video games (and I assume you would be if you've visiting this blog) then you've probably heard of Custom Game Cases. In fact, I've done a post on them and showed off their work. While this is a good company, the lead times in getting orders filled can take months. I've been looking for an alternative and I've finally found one...Gaming Relics.

Gaming Relics use the same awesome type of hard plastic clam shell like cases that Custom Game Cases uses, but they'll get your order to you in a matter of days after your order has been placed. I recently placed an order last Tuesday and the order arrived Saturday. I'm located in SC and they are located across the country in CA. Best of all, their prints are beautiful and make your loose carts look so much better on your shelves.

My recent order just consisted of 3 cases, 1 NES and 2 Super Famicom (SFC). I'm slowly working on having cases made for all of my loose NES and SNES games. I can't find many custom SFC covers so when I noticed that Gaming Relics had cases for Chou Makaimura (Super Ghosts 'n Goblins) and Super Mario: Yossy Island (Super Mario World 2) I wanted to check them out first hand.

I'm very happy with the outcome and I've already placed them on my shelves. From what I can tell these are more or less feature the game's retail artwork that just wraps around the case...which I'm OK with. These were priced a dollar less than their SNES cases at just $4.99.

I only have a handful of NES games left to get cases made for. I'm going alphabetical order to get these done so the next up was Bible Adventures. 

If you aren't familiar with these case, they are about the same size as an original NES or SNES cardboard box. The plastic is a smokey dark gray and very sturdy. The cases snap shut and features a firm grasp. The inside of the case has two clips (left side) to hold the instruction manual in place. The other side (right) has a place designed for the different type cart and has 4 clips that hold the cart in place. The outside of the box has a clear film that allows you to insert you own artwork or the artwork that places like Gaming Relics offer.

I mentioned I just placed an order for 3 cases because that is their optimum number of cases you can order and they can still ship via USPS 1st class for around $5. This is my second order with Gaming Relics and I couldn't be happier. I will be placing additional orders in the near future as my OCD just can't come to grips with a shelve full of loose game cartridges!