Real Saturn Chronicles Episode 5: Miss Croft returned! This time on Playstation!

It's been a while since I wrote some stuff about my past as a collector. So just bear with me, cause now it's time to continue what I already started. Previously, I've told you why and how I was able to buy my original PlayStation console (which I still own).

I was finally the proud owner of a Sony PlayStation console after the disappointment I felt when Sega decided to abandon its Saturn console in Europe to focus on Dreamcast. It was the summer of my 14th birthday :D

Playstation was the console I really needed. And the only reason why I originally wanted to buy it was just to play Tomb Raider II. I told that to a couple of friends and they said I was crazy for buying a particular gaming system just to play a single game. It was pretty obvious to me that I wouldn't play just one game and I'm pretty sure they thought the same. The main problem was... I already had a Sega Saturn. Back in those days, it was very unusual to find a kid my age with two different systems from the same generation. The few lucky kids who already had a current gen console either had a Sega Saturn or a Sony Playstation, but not both. Parents were not very fond of this idea either. If you had two systems from the same generation, many would be jealous of you and consider you rich. That's how it was.

Much like Saturn, as soon as I bought the Playstation I had to wait some time until I finally had one game to play. My nice parents would usually buy the console but not a single game. They always made me wait. Thankfully, this time I had a demo disc to play instead of looking at a spaceship floating in space while playing free music discs (I'm referring to what happened when I bought the Sega Saturn in the previous episode I wrote). 

After a few weeks waiting, Tomb Raider II was almost being released in Europe and I was literally dying to get my hands on that game. However, I knew that games would usually take much longer to arrive in Portugal and release dates over here were incredibly inaccurate. Knowing this, I still had to go to the store on release dates to see if the game I wanted was already available, even knowing the game wouldn't be there. I was a very impatient kid and I would usually come out of the store with a major disappointment. My parents used to go shopping many Fridays at night. When they were at the supermarket checkout line, I'd rush to the music store to check out the games. On that particular night, it was Tomb Raider II's European release date.

As usual, the store had nothing. The employee told me the game was expected to arrive next week on a certain day. On that certain day I went back to the store just to find out that the game would only be available some other day later. And this happened a few more times until I finally gave up waiting. Almost one month later my parents were at the checkout and my mother found strange that I still hadn't gone to the store. She asked me why and I replied with a hopeless voice: "it's no use... the game will never come out...". Ya know, childish stuff.... She eventually motivated me to go to the store. I walked in the store and the guy at the counter already knew me. I hopelessly asked: "The game is not here yet, right...". To my surprise, his reply was: Actually, it is!". I was overwhelmed!

Next day I immediately told a friend of mine that I had finally bought the game. His name was Angelo and he also had a PlayStation console and a ton of pirated games - something very common back in those days and one of the main reasons why most people over here in Portugal would prefer a PlayStation instead of other consoles. I survived all the pressure from friends who called me stupid for paying so much for a game that I could get for little money through piracy. I always loved to own the original copies of the games I've bought, so piracy was out of question. As I was talking to Angelo on the phone, he came up with some temporary bad news for me: "Cool, nice to know you already have the game, but do you have a memory card to save the game data?"

Needless to say, it was the first time I ever heard about such a thing. Even though I had my Saturn for a couple o years and knew about that expensive card called "Backup Memory", Saturn had an internal memory and I simply didn't know what that thing called "memory card" exactly was until he mentioned it to me for the first time. I figured I needed more cash to buy that thing if I wanted to play the game and save the game progress. For a brief moment I started to worry, but thankfully my friend Angelo ended the conversation saying something like: "Don't worry, I'll lend you a memory card if you lend me your game after you finish it. I'll take it to you tomorrow". PHEW!

And there I was, finally playing Tomb Raider II on my brand new Playstation system, Hell Yeah! Just a few months later I made the best decision of my life with another videogame I've randomly decided to buy. That one had such a huge impact on me and PlayStation became my favourite console soon after. But I will leave this for another post some time in the future!:D
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Greatness Arrived.

Just don't call me a Playstation fanboy. Call me an XBone hater instead, because that's what I am and I'm pretty sure I already wrote some stuff about it in a previous post. No, I didn't buy the super ultra limited edition of Titanfall. It wasn't even released over here. It was too expensive. The game wasn't included. I don't want anything related to XBone for the reasons I already described before. It's just pure hate I have for it, even though I've quite enjoyed the 360 and built a pretty big collection that equals or even surpasses my PS3 collection.

There, the blog probably lost some viewers with this rant.

Instead, I've decided to... well, I didn't really decide anything. The PS4 was supposed to be a Xmas gift last year, but unfortunately something bad and unexpected happened and I didn't get it. For a brief moment I didn't want to buy any games at all. On top of that, I promised I would only buy a PS4 if I found one that was made in Japan. Yeah yeah, I know what you're thinking: "that doesn't matter, Chinese units are just as good and the sabotage was just a rumour...". While the sabotage was not a rumour, only a batch of these consoles were actually sabotaged and they were probably never shipped to Europe. And yes, the Chinese models are as good as the Japanese ones because the quality parameters imposed by Sony are always the same, no matter if they are produced in China, Japan or in a different planet.

And yes, I do have a fetish for 'made in Japan' stuff. People can say it's the same and I'll just reply "no it's not, because mine says 'made in Japan' instead'' and I really don't care about what they think. When you're a videogame collector, you kinda become immune to some of the usual criticism, most of it becomes unoriginal after a while anyway.... That, and the old questions like "what if your house burns?" or "what if someone steals your collection?". Or the classic "what are you going to do with your collection when you get old?".

Yes, this model was made in Japan and officially released over here by Sony. I've been searching for one since the release date in most stores I visited and I gave up some time ago because I was unable to track a single model. All the consoles I picked up to this point were all made in China. I thought that the Japanese models only came in a small first batch that was sold out during preorders. Nope. I found this console (as well as another one) in a regular store where I've searched before since the release date. I was so used to pick the console boxes and check if they had the 'Made in Japan' sticker that I've kept doing that automatically with no serious intention of actually finding one. But I did find one, and I couldn't resist. After checking dozens of consoles in dozens of stores, I accidentally found one and confirmed that these models were indeed released over here.  

Yes I bought it, but I'm sure you've figured that out yourself if you've read this far. No, I didn't want to spend so much money. I didn't even had that much available in the exact moment. But who cares... I now have a PS4 and I'm in love with it, especially with the controller. The Xbox 360 controller was far better than the old design of the Dualshock 3, except the D pad which was beyond horrible for me. However, this PS4 controller is so sweeeet and feels so good. Too bad the analogue sticks' rubbers wear so fast... It doesn't make much sense because the quality of the whole thing looks neat.
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Now this is unusual!

I usually don't buy games for certain consoles that do not fit my criteria but for some time now I've wanted to buy a Nokia NGage. I still don't have it, but knowing that I'll eventually get one I just couldn't miss this chance of buying these brand new games and press kits from a very kind lady who had them for sale. I have to thank my friend Johnny for warning me about the deal that I'd just miss if it wasn't for him. Almost all the regular games are still sealed, which is awesome.

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Goku hasn't aged at all...

The newest Dragon Ball came out not too long ago and I was fascinated with the statue it comes with. It's much bigger and better than Gohan's Statue included with Ultimate Tenkaichi and it also seems to be pretty scarce compared to the previous edition, so I couldn't resist it and got it. I really wasn't expecting to buy this any time soon.

I still didn't have the chance to watch the new movie but to be fair I don't feel very interested in it... I never liked the Dragon Ball movies that much and I particularly hate when they make up stories that don't really fit in the original story.

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It's back, merciless as ever!

Dark Souls' sequel finally arrived! With it, an amazing Collector's Edition also came. It's not the only one, another one's on the way. I didn't really expect to buy this. Seriously. I was expecting a small sized figurine but once I walked into a store the day before the release date I was able to see that the edition was quite impressive! I had it on preorder and I was about to cancel it, so I decided to check my preorder price and... 40 euros cheaper than the retail price in stores. And here it is :)

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New company for the GP Family

Over the years I was able to target some of the GamePark Holdings handheld consoles around the country. After GP2X F100 and GP2X F200, Caanoo popped up for sale around here and who am I to refuse the opportunity? I would probably never buy these systems if I didn't find them for sale around here. I've managed to pick them up personally from all the sellers and I'm happy with them.

I really didn't know what to put in the background this time. So I put bananas. Because I can. I hope you didn't try to find logic in that.
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Another Press Kit.

Yeah, basically, that's it... another press kit, this time for the Injustice: Gods Among Us, the game that features all sorts of heroes and creepers heroes from the DC universe allied to an amazing gameplay (Mortal Kombat style). I'm a fan of 3D fighters and I quite liked the game. The press kit didn't seem that good but it actually surprised me when I received it. Not only it comes in a hard box with a pretty big size, it also looks cool in the end. I was expecting something far more fragile and smaller. The contents itself include the game itself. Even though I have the Collector's Edition for the PS3, I couldn't be more satisfied.

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Thank you for treating us well, Namco Bandai.

As the big RPG fan that I am, I obviously couldn't miss this game. Too bad that 1. this is a poor conversion of the previous titles with no additional features (it actually had some features removed...) and 2. you can't compare this edition to the NA version. Still, the fact that RPGs like this are still coming to Europe after most people sold their souls to the western RPGs I don't like that much is already surprising, let alone with CEs.

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Bring Heavy Rain Back!

So, the second game by Quantic Dream stars one of the most popular (and cute) actresses and it's called Beyond: Two Souls. This is yet another game I really want to play. Heavy Rain was amazing, but I've heard this game is good, but not as great. Mostly because it's very straightforward and your decisions do not affect the storyline, which is a shame because that's one of the things that made Heavy Rain so great (not to mention its amazing plot that matches and even surpasses some of the most recent Hollywood movies). I will still play the game though.

All this chitchat just to say that I got the Press Kit. Thanks again, Michael.

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Puppeteer Press Kit. (because I couldn't think of anything else for this title)

I don't know that much about this game, except that most people talk nice things bout it. And once I have a chance to buy a press kit for a fairly good price, I won't miss it. I have to thank my friend Michael for the opportunity.

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Following the alternative path

Being a huge Tomb Raider Fan, I couldn't help but get the newest PS4 version of the latest Tomb Raider game, entitled Definitive Edition. This game received a very small CE that wasn't released over here but for less than 50 euros for a PS4 port, I couldn't really complain and decided to buy the digipak version of the game.

However, I will probably stop collecting new gen videogames so seriously now that the newer generation came out. It's a little hard to explain how I feel using English grammar, but since this blog is written in english since the beginning it would make no sense to change that now. 

 I have been assembling games since I was 12 or 13, during the Sega Saturn and Playstation 1 age. I started collecting more seriously a few years later but now I am getting a little tired. I still love collecting but companies are trying to milk the cow to death and I am having personal issues with that. First, the DLCs came. When I first heard about it I was a little reluctant. It was supposed to be something good to extend the lifetime of a particular game. But then they started with all that crap such as extra costumes and completely useless additions that do not affect the gaming experience in any way. Suddenly, many DLCs started to come out on the game's release date. Some were exclusive to certain editions whereas others were available if you preordered the game from a particular store. That's like buying a puzzle where some pieces are missing: you can still assemble it, but you'll end up with a few empty spots in the end. DLCs are not something that you can really collect. The most dramatic case I know of is Asura's Wrath. The game was actually offered to me by a very nice friend but I wouldn't buy that game unless it was brand new and the price was bellow 5 euros. Why would you even buy a game where you are forced to pay extra if you want to see the real ending? Those DLC could pretty much come inside each game disc on release date. But no, many think it's a better idea to actually sell another copy of the same game with all the extra stuff a few months later. How many different Skyrim editions are there already? Even being a DLC enthusiast, I never paid for a single DLC.

On top of that, too many important games are only coming out in digital format. That's actually good. Well, in theory at least. Producing so many physical copies is a waste of resources and digital copies are supposedly cheaper (not in every case..). But companies are not concerned with that. They only do that because they can cut production costs in games they don't expect to sell so well and hopefully increase their profit. Nothing new here... And suddenly they came up with a "wonderful" idea: Free to Play. Some games are actually very good and do a decent job where you don't really need to buy anything unless you want to progress faster in the game, such as Warframe. Others however are cancer in my opinion, such as that Free to Play Tekken. I am a huge Tekken fan but I downloaded the game and I couldn't stand more than half an hour. But the main issue I have with Free to Play games is, again, you can't collect them, you can't actually own a physical copy of that game, you have to buy too many DLCs in order to progress. 

Another problem I see with collecting games is the enormous amount of editions that come out for the same game in different countries and sometimes for unbearable prices. It all started with Modern Warfare, the game that receive the 189 euros  edition with night vision googles. Right now we have Titanfall for the XBone which has an edition priced at almost 300 euros and it doesn't even include the game inside the package. I started collecting CEs and LEs when they were 10 to 30 euros more expensive than the regular game and when they were really special. Nowadays each important game gets at least one edition and half of them end up in the bargain bin. 

Then we have the steelbook fever. Steelbooks do look beautiful but the materials used are bad: cheap metal that rusts. They are not made of stainless steel or aluminium, they're just well handled cheap metal. If you're unlucky enough to live in a country with average to high humidity during the cold season like me, they tend to rust much faster and that's almost inevitable. Some people seem to live in a dream world and believe steelbooks don't rust, or simply rust when they are scratched and painting is chipped due to bad handling. That's completely wrong. I gave up collecting steels unless they come factory sealed or kept in vacuum, but most editions nowadays include one steelbook and people are not happy if they don't...

Finally, we also have the terrible attitude from companies like Microsoft. The Xbox 360 did something quite amazing and became a popular console all over the world, competing against the older videogame giants such as Nintendo or Sony. Me, being a Sony fan, bought one of these. And now I even own three. My 360 collection is just about as big as my PS3 collection. But now they just trashed the small empire they've built over the years around the world and decided to produce a console 100% oriented towards the US market, ignoring most of the other smaller countries. They were even able to upset the US costumers with all those rules about used games etc etc and decided to step back. Now I live in a place like many others in Europe and around the world that didn't even know when and what would be released here related to XBone by the time I originally wrote this post a few weeks ago.

All these things together become a nuisance for a collector like me. I am sticking with PS4 for this generation and I will definitely slow down my collection habits this time. With so many great games I am still missing in my retro collection, it's now time to spend more time and money to get those games instead of the overpriced CEs coming out from now on.
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The Last Price of Persia Press Kit arrived at last :)

I was just missing the numbered frame with Elike. Now I finally have it and this completes the set of the three press kits available for this game. Unless there's a 4th one. I hope not...

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Update coming!

It's been nearly 3 months with no updates. What a shame! That's about to change soon though. I already wrote about 15 new posts and I have more coming. All that's missing is taking photos and upload them before posting. This should be done pretty soon, within the next couple of days or so. So stay tuned :)
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