Sunday, 13 May 2012

Thankee sai, Miss Dutch Queen

Queen Elizabeth II, the currently reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. While known around the world as a gloved-hand-waggling, benevolent old dear, most of this generation's UK citizens regard her as a wrinkly-faced old prune that sponges off the taxes taken from their minimum wage.

The Dutch, however, love their queen, and her 'birthday' is celebrated as a national holiday on April 30th, complete with the yearly tradition of big ol', country-wide flea markets. Cheers queenie, I love me a good flea market. Unfortunately, as my job requires me to deal with UK customers, I was required to attend work on Queens Day. My faithful side-kick was lucky enough to have the day off and travelled around our town of Roermond in search of some second-hand gaming goodies for rock-bottom price, and succeeded with a bundle of five quality GameCube games for a mere €10.

Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness and Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life are two she had bought for herself. My girlfriend was one of the few Pokémon fans that got a kick out of playing the single-player mode on Pokémon Colosseum, so with Pokémon XD practically being a sequel, it made sense for her to pick this one up. Harvest Moon, on the other hand, isn't a game she has played before but thinks she will like, as she likes the slow paced gameplay found in games such as the original Animal Crossing.

Personally I wasn't a fan of Pokémon Colosseum, as I always expected it to be 'Pokémon Stadium 3', which would have been a bit on the dry side anyway. What we got was a uninspired single player adventure that was no where near as adventurous or exciting than any of the portable Pokémon games, making me wonder what the point of Pokémon Colosseum or Pokémon XD were in the first place.

The three games shown in the picture above were for me, as you can probably tell. Anyone who reads my blog, Sega MikeyDrive, my posts over at Kung Pow Pixel or my writings over at Sega-Addicts, will know that I am a seriously huge Sonic the Hedgehog fan, owing a significant amount of Sonic and Sonic-related releases. Of course, one of Sonic's issues, in my opinion is that Sega have always been a little too hasty when making Sonic spin-offs and remakes, which can make it difficult for a fan like myself to find the time and the money to romp through all of the blue-blur's adventures.

Sonic Adventure DX  is a game I did own in the past, buying it when it came out on the GameCube, beating the whole game in one day, and returning it to GAME with the argument 'Well, it just wasn't for me.' I love Sonic Adventure 2 Battle so very dearly. It was one of the very first games I got with my GameCube and I'll never forget my brother's and I huddled together watching me navigate a snowbaording Sonic through streets of traffic while being entranced by the unforgeable 'City Escape' theme. I love the game so much I managed to look past it numerous, numerous flaws and complete the game 100%.

Sonic Adventure 2 Battle at its best.

But for reasons that trail this post in a complete and utter tangent, I could not, and have have never been able to, 'get into' Sonic Adventure.

Sonic Riders is a game I have never gone out of my way to play, as it's clearly got nothing to do with 'rolling around at the speed of sound', although I was pleased with what I saw when I popped it into the Wii; an interesting mix of Wipeout and Mario Kart, or should I say Sonic Drift...

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was a bit of a dud, but only because I already have the game in it's PS2 incarnation which, if my memory serves me well, allows for widescreen play and progressive scan. My girlfriend knew I liked Prince of Persia, but simply couldn't remember which ones I have and which ones I do not. This I can understand, considering the amount of games I own against the amount of Prince of Persia games in existence. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is still an amazing achievement in 3D platforming and if, for whatever reason, my PS2 explodes, at least I have a back-up version.


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