Czar Bazaar 2

Hello folks and welcome to the second installment of Czar Bazaar! Some money was made on the ebay block this week; those Nintendo classics keep bring in the dough. Also in this post, we’ll take a look at the trailer for the new Resident Evil film that I just might actually pay money to see. Let’s get with it!

The power of Belmont was strong this week, as two new (H-seam) copies of Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest auctioned for $192.50 and $209.50 respectively.  The latter’s seller offered free shipping while the former’s seller (who was from Canada) charged 2d dollars. I don’t know how the post office works in Canada, but I thought $25 for shipping and handling a bit much, especially considering I once paid 5 bucks to get a game shipped from Israel.

Continuing with the Nintendo theme,  the Game Boy family had a nice showing this week. A brand new non shrink wrapped original Game Boy auctioned for $455.  Two special edition Game Boy Advances, a Pokemon Game Boy Advance SP  and a Final Fantasy IV Game Boy Micro both auctioned for $350 and $177 respectively. The Game Boy Advance prices surprised me because the initial bids for both systems were frantic. I fully expected each of those GBA systems to fetch over $400, especially the Micro, which I believe had some binds recanted.

From game bids we switch to movie blockbusters, specifically Resident Evil: Retribution . My habitual cunctation determines I post everything a day or week late, so here is a link to the trailer most people have likely already seen. If you look carefully, you will see Leon S. Kennedy (played by Johann Urb) in a few scenes. Leon is perhaps my favorite Resident Evil character not named Jill Valentine, so I’m very happy to see him in the live action movies (he’s appeared in the animated Resident Evil: Degeneration). I’ve never cared much for the live action Resident Evil films, though the first film is watchable because it stars Michele Rodriguez, who is beautifully angry as always.  I’ve just  never liked Alice (played by Milla Jovovich), the lead character of the series.  Jovovich is actually good as Alice, but I thought the movies strayed to far from their source by focusing on her and not the other characters like Chris Redfield, or the aforementioned Jill. The decision to stray from the game’s plots isn’t really bad move, and it has certainly been profitable; the live action Resident Evil films have made over 600 million dollars.

That’s all for now. I’ll see what other mind explosions ebay and Amazon can offer. Until next time.

Peace & Pixels

Extra Late E3 Review

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) may be over, but my excitement for some of the games presented is just peaking! At first, I was hesitant to blog about E3 because of my vintage focus, but some of the games were just too good not cover. From new entries in classic franchises to an original title set in my beloved hometown, E3 had presented much promise for the future.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate (3DS)

I’ve had the Vania Mania since playing Simon’s Quest as a youth, so any time a new Castlevania title is announced good times ensure. Mirror of Fate is set 25 years after the original Lords of Shadow game, initially focusing on the exploits of Trevor Belmont, son of LoS protagonist Gabriel. Eventually, players will be able to play as Trevor’s great grandson Simon (chhyeah!!) and possibly Dracula’s son, Alucard. Mirror of Fate will seemingly blend the exploratory aspects of the series (like Symphony of the Night) with the brawling of Lords of Shadow, creating a unique blend of action and adventure. The game is graphically impressive, with 3D textures spread across a 2D plane. The stage demo looked promising; I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted (360, PS3, PC)

I like Need for Speed. I like Burnout. Now, Electronic Arts is finally mixing the two. Criterion Studios, maker of the Burnout games, is currently developing this latest NFS: Most Wanted. All the rancorous racing from the Burnout games is coming to the car fetish NFS series, and it’s looking great. The game is set in an open world environment (the demo I saw took place in a city), allowing for racers to bring adrenaline-fueled destruction to a spacious non-linear place. I’ve read that the game is similar to Burnout: Paradise (which I’ve never played), but considering the positive critical reception that title received, perhaps Criterion is following the right path. As long as Criterion can add to the NFS formula without making it dull and derivative, the game should be good. We shall see.

Hawken (PC)

Before E3, I hadn’t heard of Hawken, but from what little I’ve seen of the game it looks good. Hawken is a multiplayer first person shooter where players pilot giant mechs in a battle plagued future. Surprisingly, the combat is brisk and brutal, a change from the slow moving mechs of similar games. Mechs jump, fire, and dodge spryly as shrapnel and fire and fills the screen. One concern I had is the game’s camera, which shakes anytime the mech is rattled by gunfire or some type of contact. This shaking effect won’t be problematic as long as it isn’t nauseating, but I felt a little dizzy watching some of the gameplay footage. Still, I’m intrigued by Hawken, and it’s definitely a title I’ll be following.

Far Cry 3 (360, PS3, PC)

Sometimes the word crazy is too liberally used. One might say, “Whoa this hot fudge sundae is crazy!” or “Man, my parents are crazy they want me to read!” Neither of those examples actually feature anything nuts (with the possible exception of the sundae, and maybe the kid’s perspective too). If you really want to see crazy, take a gander at Far Cry 3. I’m honestly not sure what is actually happening in this game—I think one of the game’s characters may even be a product of the protagonist’s imagination—but that’s part of the fun. I do know you’re stranded on an island, have hot digital sex, shoot a lot of people and nearly get mauled by feline wild life. That’s enough for me.

Beyond Two Souls (PS3)

David Cage is at it again. The creator of Heavy Rain showcased Beyond Two Souls, his latest project, and it looks incredible. The game stars actress Ellen Page as Jodie Holmes, a young woman connected with a mysterious invisible entity she calls Aiden. You can play as both Jodie and Aiden, and in the E3 demo (set on a passenger train) players can float around the interior of a train as Aiden while Jodie slept in one of the train’s cars. Aiden is able to knock over objects on the train, a tactic which can be used to awaken Jodie when a police squad later boards the train car. Perhaps the most fascinating thing about the game is its story, which covers 15 years of Jodie’s life. I’m anxious to see how that time is handled, and what we can learn about Jodie and her invisible friend.

Watch Dogs (360, PC, PS3)

Jaw. Hit. Floor. This was my favorite game of the event. Firstly, the game is set in my hometown of Chicago, and from what little I saw, the developers are doing a great job of digitally recreating the city. Watch Dogs’s story centers around Aidan Pierce, a man of digital and destructive means, as he battles those he feels should be brought to justice. In the demo, Pierce tracks a man who had apparently escaped conviction of murder. Pierce uses a mobile device capable of hacking into the city, giving him access to everything from the city lights to people’s salary information. The game reminded me of the TV show “Person of Interest” which also involves city wide digital espionage. I wondered how the show would look as a video game and now I have a possible answer. I’m stoked about this one; it could be an instant classic.

Well that’s all for my horridly late E3 coverage. I look forward to all of these games and might have to finally go on and by a current gen console. Until next time.

Peace & Pixels

Czar Bazaar: Wild Sales

Greetings, folks! It’s been a little while since I last posted, and in that time, some fascinating things occurred on ebay. I saw two games sell for a combined price of well over a thousand dollars, and only one of them was new. Just another day in cyber sales, right? After this post, you’ll wish you took advantage of those old $19.95 sales. I know I do.

The first game comes from the venerable Street Fighter series, which is turning twenty five years old (yowza!) this year! One lucky seller recently cashed in one one of the most popular games in the franchise, the Super Nintendo’s Street Fighter II: Turbo. The seller’s copy of SFII was certainly a gem: brand new and factory sealed with that H seam collector’s covet. Knowing I’d never be able to afford whatever the final price would be, I placed the game in my watch list to see what it would sale for. If you’re not sitting down before reading this, you’ll be on your back when you see the winning bid: $451.01.Honestly, I was hurt when I saw that price. I wished I had bought a copy of the game when I was kid and just held on to it. As much Street Fighter as I played back in my time, I should have at least tried to get a new copy of that title.  Self-pitying aside, congrats to the seller on the big pay day! Holding on to a new copy of a desired rare title will certainly yield positive results, but sometimes a used title can be profitable, as well.  If you thought the Street Fighter sale was crazy, keep reading.

About a month ago, I did a history of Double Dragon, covering many of the games in that franchise’s history. One such game was the title Double Dragon for the Neo Geo AES, which apparently is quite rare. I hadn’t even heard of the game until I was doing research for my piece, and if it weren’t for a random search, wouldn’t have seen a recent auction for a used copy of the game on ebay.This was one of those times where I thought I was slick. I had hoped to buy the game for just a few dollars, like someone did with a copy of Fatal Fury 2. How naive of me. If you have a bad heart, I suggest you stop reading here. Final price of Double D? $915.09!

I tell you, ebay never fails to amaze to me. There’s always something that makes for a good post. Until next time.

Peace & Pixels