Sunday, 29 April 2012

New Games in Nijmegen

This weekend my girlfriend and I thought we should try an explore a little more of the country we both now live in, the Netherlands. Of course, with so many different places to visit it's difficult to decide where to go, especially considering how expensive it can be to travel via public transport, which we are both dependant on. So how did we decide? Well, we looked for cities that had real game shops and decided on the Limburgian city of Nijmegen which housed a shop called Nedgames.

The shop was much larger that I had expected and had a really fantastic range of modern games, and a surprisingly large stock of Japanese shoot 'em up as well as JRPGs. They also had a an amazing range of PS2 games, which included numerous entries in the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona series, games I have so far never seen with my own two eyes.

While the shop had a retro section, which is commendable, it was disappointingly limp. There were numerous games, however none of them were particularly exciting. I did, however pick up a few interesting things.

Firstly is an unboxed copy of Kid Clown in Crazy Chase for the SNES. This game isn't particularly amazing, but I used to play it a lot as a child at my friend's house and I enjoyed the colourful sprites and the large amount of animations, as well as the idea of the gameplay, although it can be annoying to have to do the same levels over and over again.

I saw the supposedly 'new' USA import copy of the Game Gear version of Sonic Spinball and almost passed it up. I don't have a working Game Gear and in my scepticism I almost always associate new retro games with fake retro games and am aware of the age old trick of re-shrink wrapping games. Even so, for only €10 the game was a steal and is in fantastic condition, regardless of whether it is actually new or now. Of note is the change in box-art where an eagle-eyed Sonic fan like myself instantly recognises the replacement of the Dr. Robotnik from the games with the Dr. Robotnik from the cartoon. Strange, very strange indeed.

The instantly recognisable and beautiful work of Yoji Shinkawa.

But possibly the best buy was a like-new copy of the European special edition of Hideo Kojima's Zone of the Enders: 2nd Runner (ZOE2) for the PS2. I liked the first ZOE, I liked it a lot, but I constantly found myself unable to love it like I really wanted to. From everything I had read prior to buying ZOE2, the second game takes everything from the first game makes it better; much better. I'm really looking forward to cracking into this one.

In other news

So that's it in terms of recent purchases.I've been saving up my money in order to help support and fund my girlfriend's budding business in making custom, video-game inspired hand crafts. I implore you check out her blog and Etsy page to see what she is up to now. Also check out a gallery of some finished pieces. Her prices are fair and her work is solid, feel free to shoot her an idea and she'll bring it into reality.

In addition to this, my girlfriend and I have been collaborating on a separate blog named Kung Pow Pixel which we're using to get our creative literary juices flowing, just for a bit of fun, be sure to check it out.

And now we move onto my recent works at Sega-Addicts. Aside from the almost daily news posts by yours truly, I have also been involved in some other interesting bits and bobs. First up is my retro review of the Japan-only Dreamcast release, Super Puzzle Fighter II X (for Matching Service), which was more difficult to write than I had though. It's difficult to speak of things such as relevancy and ingenuity when considering a 'simple' puzzle game, but I gave it my best shot and most would seem happy with the result. Again, I'd be honoured if you would be so kind as to check it out.

Lastly is my recent participation as a guest star in one of Sega-Addict's two podcasts, The Sega Addicts Kids Table: Episode 37 – Free Mustard Drizzle. In it Kids table Host and Writer Stevie Grant, Reviews Editor Josh Newey and I discuss the cancellation of the Sonic 2 HD fan project, Project X Zone, hot-dog stuffed pizzas, our greatest gaming achievements and more. If you want to hear my manly British accent speak passionately about my favourite Sega games, then please feel free to download the podcast here.

And that's it from me. My little brother is coming to visit me in less than a week and will the first member of my family to see my new place of residence in Roermond. I also have the feeling that he may be excited to see all of the family games and consoles out at once, as well as my personal collection. Perhaps I can get some photos out of it to show you all. Until then, take care, and leave me some comments below!


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