Collecting games is a ton of fun. It’s not exactly the cheapest hobby out there, especially if the game you’ve had your eye on turns out to be rare or highly collectible, but the satisfaction of finally holding it in your hands is palpable. Being able to flip through its manual is exhilarating, as you’re transported back to when times were easier and wonder was bountiful. And of course, being able to play that game you’ve only ever seen in a magazine, is almost surreal and brings a sense of accomplishment in its own weird little way.
Although I cherish all of the games we’ve come to acquire over the years, there have however been a few games that stand out from the pack. Games that I particularly treasure and hold near and dear to my heart for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s because it was a favorite from my youth, an obscure title from one of my favorite directors, the first entry in a series I just discovered, or a wacky curiosity from a genre I love on a console I barely knew.
In this edition of Collection Reflection, I really wanted to dig up a few games from my past and present that I truly consider to be some of the crown jewels of our backlog, so let’s dive in!
First up is Alundra! A unique action RPG developed by Matrix Software and published by Working Designs. One thing that really made Alundra stand out to me, especially after renting it more than a dozen times when I was younger, was that it was kind of the PlayStation’s answer to the Zelda series. Well, imagine it as Zelda, if Zelda had a darker story, harder puzzles and amazing anime cutscenes!
There has always been something about Alundra that has made me look back at it with fond memories, and I’ll always consider it to be one of my all time favorites. Whether it’s because of its fantastic soundtrack, its satisfying combat, or its glorious 32-bit sprite work. To say I was elated when I was finally able to hold a copy of it in my hands, and place it on my shelf, would be an understatement, and I look forward to being able to revisit it for years to come!
Next up is Policenauts! A Japanese exclusive adventure game for the Sega Saturn developed and published by Konami, and directed by the prolific Hideo Kojima! Over all of the years of being a video game fan, there have been a few video game directors that have truly stood out to me, and Hideo Kojima was probably one of the most influential, especially during my youth. It’s not that I’ve played all of his games, but the games that I did play, including the Metal Gear Solid series, really left an impression on me. I love the way he tells stories, builds characters, and throws his protagonists into bizarre and surreal situations.
So, after discovering that he had his hand in a few games that never made it to the west, I was excited to try them out! And my first endeavor into trying to import one of them was Policenauts! It was actually one of the first games we acquired for our Saturn, and the best part was, there was a fan translation available. So we could actually play it! Although we haven’t played it yet, I look forward to seeing what a pre-Metal Gear Solid Hideo Kojima was all about, and until then I’ll be fawning over the amazing art book that came with it!
Next on the docket is Revelations: Persona! A unique and dark JRPG developed and published by Atlus, which was meant to be a spin-off series from the equally dark Shin Megami Tensei set of games. Although the Persona games have kind of been in my periphery for many years, lauded as some of the best JRPGs out there, it wouldn’t be until Persona 5 that I would give the series a shot. After doing that however, I came to realize that the fantastic combination of a killer soundtrack, its offbeat story, addicting relationship building, and compelling combat systems, ticked every single box for me! From that point forward, I was determined to experience everything the series had to offer, and me being me, that meant going all the way back to its roots for the first entry.
The only problem was, pretty much everyone and their dog was probably thinking the same thing. Persona 5 kind of ignited a passion in Persona fans and the price of the original sky rocketed! Luckily however, I came across a copy that no one seemed to notice, and I was able to pick it up for more than a reasonable price. And the rest is history! We still have Revelations: Persona on our backlog, but having a copy of this progenitor of a juggernaut has inspired me to take a deeper dive into the series, including its bigger brother Shin Megami Tensei, and I’m excited to see where this journey takes us!
Finally we have Sexy Parodius! A goofy and colorful shoot ’em up developed and published by Konami that was meant to be a bit of a spoof on one of Konami’s most popular shmup series, Gradius. Another series of games that I was aware of, but due to it being a Japanese exclusive set of games, they are a bit out of reach. Now that we had a Sega Saturn however, I was determined to dive into some of the types of games it was known for, including its library of shmups.
Finding any old shoot ‘em up wouldn’t satisfy me though, so I fell into the Parodius rabbit hole, and I came out on top with Sexy Parodius. I loved how colorful, silly, and slightly risqué it was, and it seemed like the perfect starting point for a new obsession. Because once you get the taste of a unique game like Sexy Parodius, there’s no turning back, and now I want them all!
Well, my dearest backloggers, that’s it for now! Collecting video games means a lot of different things, including kindling fond memories and nostalgia, and fulfilling childhood curiosities! That’s why I love doing it, and that’s why I don’t think I’ll ever stop.
Do you collect video games? Which games in your collection do you treasure most?