Okay, so I know I said in my previous Monthly Pick Ups post (here) that I would be doing them on the 21st of each month… However, this month is a little different, as on the 20th I will be going to the UK Blog Awards, so the 21st will have a post about the awards and the evening. That’s why I’ve decided to do the April 2018 Monthly Pick Ups post a few days early.

It has been a relatively slow month for pick-ups, due to various expenses with our family car. However, I did manage to get my hands on a few really nice items! My Mum also managed to find a few of my old games that I thought I had lost, so I’ll be including them in this post as well. So, let’s take a look at what I’ve added to my gaming collection this month, shall we?

Fear Effect 2 – PSX

Starting off with the PlayStation games, we’re actually starting with the first game I got my hands on since the last update. I used to adore the Fear Effect games when they first came out, but let me be completely honest; I utterly sucked at them. They are incredibly punishing Survival Horror Adventure games that will kill you off if you can’t react with split-second timing. On top of this, failing at puzzles or misunderstanding where you need to go can also be fatal.

Fear Effect 2, despite having the number 2 in the title, is actually a prequel, giving a huge amount of insight into the protagonists of the series. It is also my favourite of the two PSX games… So, when I saw it for sale at just £6, I could not turn away. The game is complete in box, which was a really nice surprise for the price. It’s also in really good condition as well, with the discs having been looked after very carefully.

Final Fantasy Tactics (Japanese Version) – PSX

Right, time for an unpopular opinion; Final Fantasy 7 is not my favourite in the series. Final Fantasy 8 comes a close second (you can read my review of it here), but the Final Fantasy game that takes the top position for me is Final Fantasy Tactics for the PSX. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Tactics Advance series on the GameBoy Advance, but the original one was incredible. However, over here in the UK, it is really hard to find out in the wild, at least from what I’ve seen. The reason for that is because it was never released over here in Europe.

The only way to get your hands on this brilliant game in its original form (not the PSP remake), is to get hold of an imported copy.

So, when my daughter and I took a day trip out to Leeds for Collectorabilia (you can read about that here), I was so happy to see a Japanese copy of Final Fantasy Tactics sitting on one of the stalls. At first, I thought I would just walk on by as I didn’t think I would have enough cash for it. However, I’m glad I stopped and looked because the man was only asking £8 for it! I snapped it up there and then, complete in box with the Square Preview disc as well.

In Cold Blood – PSX

There was one game from my childhood that I remember the first section of very well, mainly because I played that one area over and over because I could not get passed it. My young brain just could not figure out what I needed to do. Plus, of course, there wasn’t really any online walkthroughs at the time either. So in the end, it got traded for other games, but I never forgot it. I have wanted to go back and actually beat the game one day. That game was In Cold Blood for the PSX.

Created by the developers behind Broken Sword, In Cold Blood is an adventure game that apparently takes inspiration from two of my all-time favourite films; Usual Suspects and Pulp Fiction. So, once again at Collectorabilia, I saw it sitting there for £2. A few seconds later, it was mine. The case is damaged a bit, but that’s not a major concern and is easily replaced. The discs are in pretty good condition, with just a few beauty marks on them as well. Sadly, it didn’t come with the manual, but I can’t really complain about £2. I’ll pick up the manual later when I get a replacement case.

Resident Evil 2 – PSX

I would still, to this day, say that Resident Evil 2 is the best in the series (at least, in my opinion). Yes, part of that is due to nostalgia, but even after going back and replaying it, I still feel the same way. The storyline shift was incredible, the world of Racoon City shown in Resident Evil 2 was amazing, and the fact that there were two different storylines that intertwined differently depending on which disc you played first was awesome.

I was in the local CeX one day a couple of weeks ago, just purely out of interest and boredom, when I spotted a copy of the game just sitting there in the display cabinets. The case was a bit dirty and looked somewhat worse for wear. Yet I could not help myself. I forked over £15 for the game and I am still happy with that. Why? Because when I got home I gave the case a clean with wet wipes and it looks great now. On top of that, the discs are nearly new and the manual is in good condition too. Plus, I’ve got Resident Evil 2, which is a good enough reason to be happy.

King of Fighters Maximum Impact – PS2

This one was more of an impulse buy than anything else since I’ve only ever played the older King of Fighters games, plus the demo of the PS4 one. I’m very selective with fighting games, with my preference leaning towards Soul Calibur and Street Fighter. However, I saw this big box version of King of Fighters Maximum Impact at another local CeX (we have a few nearby) and was instantly drawn to it. I never actually played the PS2 release for the series, so it seemed like a good way to get something new for me to experience. Plus, the whole big box thing is always so tempting isn’t it?

It cost me just £3.50 and, whilst the outside box needs a flap glueing down again, the game itself is in really good condition. It is also complete in box with the booklet containing all of the moves in the game (which is in near mint condition). So yeah, hopefully, it will be a fun game – I will definitely be writing a review of it in the not-too-distant future.

Primal – PS2

As I stated in my review of Primal for PS2 (here), I adored the game when I was a teenager. That was largely due to being an angsty metalhead at the time, with the game using a rock soundtrack and focusing on a macabre world. It also featured a rock girl as the protagonist. Basically, it ticked all of the right boxes for the young, teenage me. Since then, I’ve obviously matured (a little) but still had fond memories of the game. That’s why I picked it up when I saw it in a shop in Nottingham city centre.

The case is a bit worn, but only slightly. There are a couple of minor blemishes on the disc as well. But it was really cheap at just £4. You can read my review to find out exactly what I thought when going back to it all these years later… But in short, I love it just as much as I did, but for very different reasons.

Silent Hill 3 – PS2

As you may have worked out from previous posts, or my page chronicling the ongoing work to build a collection of PS2 Survival Horror games, I love that genre. I’d already managed to get my hands on the 2-disc special edition of Silent Hill 2 (complete in box, with one of the four sticker variations and the postcard), which is my favourite in the series. However, Silent Hill 3 is also an incredible game. It may not be quite as mentally scarring but definitely remains a great horror game.

I picked it up for about a tenner, which I thought was a pretty good price for a used and damaged copy (which is what I was expecting). So, imagine my surprise when I take a look at it and see that the case, manual and disc are all nearly new! It really is in near mint condition, which is amazing.

Final Fantasy XIII – PS3

The last game that I actually bought since the previous update was for the PS3. Sure, Final Fantasy XIII may not be the best in the series (by any stretch of the imagination), but it isn’t an utterly horrible game. It is very linear for the first half, which is one of the biggest complaints, plus the battle system is overly simplistic, but I do love Final Fantasy as a series. So, even though I may have this in storage at the in-laws’ house, I wasn’t completely sure, and it is really cheap so I thought I might as well just get it.

I don’t know how often I’ll actually get Final Fantasy XIII out and play it, but at least I have it if I ever want to. Plus, it is another Final Fantasy that I can add to my collection, so that’s a positive at least.

Games Rediscovered

Moving on to the games that have been rediscovered, or rather, recovered from my Mum’s holiday home in Bulgaria, we have a few PSX games that are being re-added to my collection. My Mum will be bringing them over this weekend, so technically I’ll get them after the cut off for this month’s pick ups, but I’m so excited to have them back that I thought I’d at least mention them now.

Final Fantasy Anthology – PSX

Out of all of the 2D Final Fantasy games, FFIV is actually my favourite, slightly beating Final Fantasy VI. However, I think that is probably because it was one of my first Final Fantasy games, and you always love your first one, right? Well, Final Fantasy Anthology comes with both FF4 and FF5, both remastered (sort of) for the PlayStation. Whilst it came out in the States in 1999, the European version that I have was a later release, hitting the shelves in 2002 (right at the end of the PlayStation’s true life cycle).

I remember paying full price to buy the game when it was released, so I’m rather happy that it has been relocated.

Final Fantasy IX – PSX

The three PlayStation Final Fantasy games were all really good games, with FFIX actually getting the higher ratings from critics. I’ll never forget how amazed and awestruck I was the first time I saw the FMV introduction to Lindblum, or when Viva took out a Black Waltz single-handedly (with help from a giant closing gate). The storyline was beyond epic, and the game itself was just incredibly enjoyable. Again, it isn’t my favourite Final Fantasy of all time (Tactics definitely gets that medal), but it is a work of art nonetheless.

Sadly, my copy is apparently missing the third disc. No idea why or where that has gone… But I’ll just have to buy another Disc 3 from eBay. They’re not particularly expensive after all.

Lunar: Silver Star Story (Fan Art Edition) – PSX

Now, this is definitely the biggest news of this update. I original bought Lunar: Silver Star Story from a random online shop that imported games from the States. I paid top dollar, as it were, to get it and have it sent over here… Especially for a 13 or 14-year-old at the time. So you can imagine just how much pain I was in the day I lost it. I just could not find it anywhere. I had moved countries a few times, and even moved houses with those countries as well. It could have been anywhere in Europe, and the game goes for some much that I knew I would never be able to afford it again.

Then, about a week or so ago, I got an email from my Mum, who had been at her house in Bulgaria for a bit. She said she had found some of my old games, including a few PlayStation games. Lunar was one of the ones she had found! I asked for a photo (the one above) and shared it on Twitter because I was so happy. That was when I was informed that it is the “Fan Art Edition”. Because the game was never released for the PlayStation in Europe, I didn’t even know there were different editions! But needless to say, I’m really over the moon to have Lunar: Silver Star Story back in my collection. And it isn’t going anywhere this time.

Parasite Eve 2 – PSX

The final game that I’ll be getting from my Mum’s wonderful little treasure hunt is Parasite Eve 2. The original Parasite Eve was another game that didn’t actually get released over here in the UK. So that means that Parasite Eve 2 was my first introduction to the series. For those who are unaware, bar the third game on the PSP, the Parasite Eve games are mixtures of J-RPGs and Survival Horror. The first game was far closer to an action J-RPG whereas the second game takes a lot more inspiration from the likes of Resident Evil.

Whilst it doesn’t get anywhere near as much love as the first game, I really adore Parasite Eve 2. In fact, 9 years ago when I first tried my hands at Let’s Play videos, Parasite Eve 2 was the only one that I actually finished. Part of that was down to technical issues, but also because I just don’t get bored of the game. So I’m really happy that Mum found it and I’m looking forward to playing it again.

And That’s All Folks

That was all of the games I have gotten my hands on or my Mum has found once again. It’s been a great month, even if the number of pick ups is that impressive. Getting Lunar once again is amazing. I’m really happy with what I’ve been able to add to the collection, and I’m looking forward to what I can find next month.

What have you managed to find this month so far? Let me know in the comments below?

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