Sunday Roundup: 1/31/16

New Games (1-31-16)A handful of DS games and a duo of games I’ve literally been spending years trying to track down finally fell into my collection this week! After our move, I’m living closer to a different GameStop than before, but seeing as I still work at the same Target, I happen to be close to that ol’ GameStop of mine. And man, this week they delivered: apparently a “regular” who goes to this store often turned in dozens of great DS games. They were all loose, but some of them had incredible prices! I couldn’t say no to these and a few duplicates for possible reselling. Hmm… maybe I’ll finally start getting into that this year…

Mario and Luigi Paper Jam CoverMario & Luigi: Paper Jam
Release Date: January 22nd, 2016
Purchased at: Amazon (Online – $32)

The very first game of Amazon’s pretty sweet new deal for new games for Prime members (additional 20% off list price within the first 2 weeks of a game’s release!) just so happens to be one I’ve been looking forward to since its announcement last E3. So far the game has been damn fun, with a lot more depth and combat challenge than I thought there’d be. Honestly, being a Mario game I thought I’d be in for a cakewalk, but some bosses are trickier than others, and I like that. Expect a full review soon! Until then, you should probably just play it if you like Mario games. Or RPGs in general.

Mystery Dungeon Shiren the Wanderer CartridgeMystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer
Release Date: March 4th, 2008
Purchased at: GameStop (Sunnyvale, CA – $4)

After foolishly passing on this game complete for $2 a few years back, here I am paying DOUBLE the price (haha, four dollars!) for just the loose cart. Yeah, I wish I would have taken the dive back then, but I’m happy to have this DS remake in the collection. Coincidentally, this game’s sequel, also titled Shiren the Wanderer, released for the Wii in North America nearly one year after this. The series is a rougelike, with randomized dungeons. The company behind the game, Spike Chunsoft (Formerly just Spike and Chunsoft) has become known for this series and the rougelike genre playing heavy parts of their games. They’re also the company behind one of the best games of 2012, Virtue’s Last Reward!

Dungeon Explorer Warriors of the Ancient Arts CartridgeDungeon Explorer: Warriors of Ancient Arts
Release Date: February 19th, 2008
Purchased at: GameStop (Sunnyvale, CA – $1)

Eyeballing this game on the PSP, I kept thinking, “It has to suck. The boxart is awful and the title is as generic as it comes.” But proving I’ll buy just about any game for a dollar, here we are with the game on DS! The game is an action RPG, but to be honest it looks so bland I’m not sure I’ll give it the time of day. Regardless, another DS RPG for a dollar is a must have!

LifeSigns Surgical Unit CartridgeLifeSigns: Surgical Unit
Release Date: November 6th, 2007
Purchased at: GameStop (Sunnyvale, CA – $1)

Oh man! I’ve been looking for LifeSigns, an oft-forgotten DS game in the same vein (get it?) as the Trauma Center series, for years. Since I found out about the game while watching something on YouTube or just exploring Amazon or something, I’ve had my eyes out for it. Though the game was only a buck at GameStop, it seems to be kind of tough to find. A quick eBay search will net you the complete game for around $5, but this is the first time I’ve seen the game in the wild. Hopefully this bodes well for my 2016!

Ontamarama CartridgeOntamarama
Release Date: November 6th, 2007
Purchased at: GameStop (Sunnyvale, CA – $2)

Bless Atlus for bringing some of the quirkiest games to the States. Ontamarama is a rhythm game that has you catching the titular Ontama in beat to music. I’m all about rhythm games, and anything by Atlus is worth checking out. You know, for as much as I’ve loved rhythm games, I don’t really know if I’ve played Elite Beat Agents on DS, even though everyone I know tells me I’ll love it. Maybe one of these days…

Lost Magic CartridgeLost Magic
Release Date: April 25th, 2006
Purchased at: GameStop (Sunnyvale, CA – $3)

Another game I’ve been on the hunt for for years, Lost Magic is one of the DS’ earlier RPGs. That being said, I don’t think I know why I wanted this game anymore it’s been so long. I’m sure it falls into the same category as Dungeon Explorere up above, and it’s just a DS RPG that I should check out. The art style looks cartoony and fun, but if it’s like Tao’s Adventure and doesn’t grasp what the DS is totally capable of, then it might be a relic of time and nothing more.

Settlers CartridgeThe Settlers
Release Date: August 3rd, 2007
Purchased at: GameStop (Sunnyvale, CA – $2)

Unfortunately this isn’t a DS version of the tabletop Settlers of Catan. Instead it’s a strategy game by Ubisoft IGN calls it a game similar to a Sim title, having you start a settlement, bring them up from nothing but farmers and villagers, to mighty kingdoms complete with knights and chivalry and all that jazz. More interesting though, apparently it was a GameStop exclusive when released. Hmm… must not have done that well considering I’ve never heard of it and GameStop having exclusive rights didn’t turn out any other games in the series.

Dinosaur King CartridgeDinosaur King
Release Date: September 23rd, 2008
Purchased at: GameStop (Sunnyvale, CA – $5)

A game somewhere between Pokemon and Fossil FightersDinosaur King is a Sega game I wish I knew of earlier. In the game you excavate fossils, which you then clean and restore, when then become actual dinosaurs! You then use your dinosaurs to fight battles, level up, gain more dinosaurs, and I can only assume become the very best (like no one ever was). Pokemon was great because it had so many cool monsters added to a great sense of wanting to find and collect them all. This game seems to have that, but instead of fake monsters, they’re (sometimes) real animals that once lived on this planet. Sweet!

Nostalgia CartridgeNostalgia
Release Date: October 27th, 2009
Purchased at: GameStop (Sunnyvale, CA – $6)

Another game I’ve been looking at for several years, Nostalgia is another RPG. This time it’s a turn-based game set in a steampunk version of Earth in the 1800s. If that wasn’t a hook enough, then perhaps you’ll be intrigued by airship battles and stereotypical cliche characters. No? Well then this probably isn’t a game for you. Around the game’s release it got some press because it was being developed by some of the folks that helped create the DS remakes of Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy IV. Despite this, I haven’t heard anything about the game selling well, so it’s probably an obscure niche game now.

Game and Watch Collection CartridgeGame & Watch Collection
Release Date: December 15th, 2008
Purchased at: GameStop (Sunnyvale, CA – $5)

A Club Nintendo exclusive, Game & Watch Collection and its sequel, Game & Watch Collection 2, were only available to purchase with “Coins” through Nintendo’s online store. You’d think that would make this game extremely hard to find, but there must have been thousands of them produced, because you can scoop up this exclusive title for just under $20. The sequel seems to be the more expensive one, but for a one time exclusive the aftermarket price isn’t too bad! If you couldn’t tell from the name, these games package together a small number (five, I think?) of classic Nintendo Game & Watch titles remade for the DS’ touchscreen.

Martian Panic CoverMartian Panic
Release Date: August 26th, 2010
Purchased at: GameStop (Sunnyvale, CA – $2)

How many times have I passed up on Martian Panic all those years ago because, let’s face it, it’s a shovelware game. But here we are in 2016, and I’m super happy to have found it freaking loose for just a few bucks. The game helps round out my collection of on-rails shooters for the Wii. And because I feel like justifying this game even more, it actually has some good reviews online, with some siting it’s simple yet enjoyable shooting as the main draw. Hey, I’m down for mindlessly blasting aliens any day!

Dino Strike CoverDino Strike
Release Date: February 1st, 2011
Purchased at: GameStop (Sunnyvale, CA – $3)

Not to be confused with another Wii game also called Dino Strike, this game is another on-rails shooter by Zoo Games. But while Martian Panic can be found on the cheap just about everywhere, Dino Stirke often commands a high price complete. High is a relative term, of course, but for a third party shooter on the Wii $15’ish can be a lot. I’ve personally been looking for this game for, you guessed it, years! I was so thrilled to see it sitting on the shelf, complete no less. This was the sole reason I would rummage through GameStop’s loose game cases, hoping one day I’d stumble upon this hopeful gem. Last Sunday was that day!

Tropix CartridgeTropix!
Release Date: November 4th, 2008
Purchased at: GameStop (Santa Clara, CA – $1)

I decided to take a chance on this one. It’s a dollar, and it’s a puzzle game, so I figured what’s to lose? Essentially a glorified minigame collection, Tropix doesn’t seem like a huge winner. Here’s hoping one day it’ll be worth tens of thousands of cents, and my purchase will be worth it!

Summon Night Twin Age CartridgeSummon Night: Twin Age
Release Date: June 3rd, 2008
Purchased at: GameStop (Santa Clara, CA – $2)

Another stunner of a find, I couldn’t believe it when I pulled this one out of the loose games in those weird yellow disc slips. And for just two bucks I couldn’t say no! Summon Night is another RPG, but this time it’s more like a hack and slash than a standard action RPG. There’s a whole series of these games, with the previous games coming out in North America on the Game Boy Advance (and many others not released in the States). My cousin first mentioned this series to me, and thought I’ve just got the game here now, I’m sure he’ll be happy to hear it all these years later!


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– Jason J

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