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Friday, December 9, 2011

Happy December!

Happy December!

First up we've made an important update at Avane, we now take credit cards directly so you can use your Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express card directly on our site using our secure server. We do still accept Paypal and Google Checkout Payments for those who prefer them.

Because we are in the midst of the Holiday Season, we're seeing a lot of gift orders. If you're planning on buying a gift you should make sure to check out our Order Cut Off Dates for Holiday delivery:
   First Class
 Parcel Post
Priority Mail
 Express Mail
 Domestic Mail  December 16  December 15  December 20  December 21
 International Mail  December 7  N/A  December 9  December 12

International Customers will have to get their orders in ASAP to make delivery by December 24th, but there's still a lot of time for customers in the US to get in their orders. To help you mark everyone off your list we're offering a coupon code for 25% off on orders of $75 or more. It's: Holiday2011 this code expires on December 21st so don't miss it.

Additionally we offer Gift Certificates in any amount from $1 to $500. Gift Certificates don't expire and don't have any fees, they're the perfect gift for any hard to shop for fan of vintage geekery.

We have over 800 items in stock right now many of which would make excellent geeky gifts for friends and loved ones.

 Don't forget to stop by our shop:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sailor Moon Fans are Everywhere

In preparation for the Holiday shopping season we've been adding new items to our shop. This involves a lot of tedious prep work which means we spend a lot time watching various stuff on Netflix while we do it. This past weekend we decided it was a great time to watch documentaries about Drag Queens (hot on the heels of the previous week's household marathon of RuPaul's Drag Race).  So while watching Wigstock: The Movie , Jen spotted what she assured me was a Sailor Moon wand. I wasn't looking up at the time and thought she may have just been suffering from a Sailor Moon obsession, which she is, but wasn't the cause this time. She backed it up and lo and behold  a Spiral Heart wand:

 Moonies, they can pop up anywhere at any time. Given that the documentary was filmed in 1994, this young lady was clearly ahead of her time as Sailor moon wasn't even airing in the US yet. Hats off to you random unnamed moonie, thanks for making our day a little more interesting.


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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Collection Oddities: 1989 Mario Cheez Whiz Jar

It's been awhile since we've had time to do a collection oddities post, but this special item joined our collection a few weeks back and it's just too fantastically odd not to share. So I bring you The Official Mario Cheez Whiz Jar:

It looks upsetting but it's just water and food coloring

It was empty when  got it so we filled it with colored water to help show the details. In retrospect yellow water may not have been the best choice, but ambiguously yellow water is markedly less horrifying than the 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of processed cheese that originally filled the jar, especially when you consider it would be 22 years old now. *shudder*

 In spite of having this misfortune of being a promotion for what is quite possibly one of the least edible "foods" to ever be commercially available, this is actually a pretty cool item. Unlike most promotional food items that just have an image screen printed on them, the entire jar is fully molded into a portly princess saving plumber.
Without the yellow water he seems sort of cross eyed

Even the lid is interesting and features Mario and the Super Mario Brothers logo.

In English and French in case you need to know how to translate "Process cheese spread"
 In spite of our opinion that it's great, there's no denying that it's weird. I mean the concept of an entire 1kg jar of Cheez Whiz is pretty odd in itself, who could possibly eat that much gooey plastic?  Then, it's shaped like Mario for some sort of unclear promotion, "It's Mario, It's yellowish orange plastic, together at last! Buy it!" Does Mario love Cheez Whiz? Are the circuit boards in Mario 2 made of Cheez whiz? What?

Regardless of the mind boggling reasons such a thing exists, it does and it fabulous and no cracktastic Mario collection should be without one.


Don't forget to stop by our shop for Mario collectibles for sale:

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Top Ten Scariest Video Game Monsters and Villians of All Time

With the exception of initial input, this entire post was thought up and brought to life by regular contributor Richard.

Video games have an opportunity to provide us with horror in ways that television and film can not. A video game can put us in control, make us decide our fate and the best way to try and escape a deadly nightmare. And on that journey we will find monsters and villains that truly left an exclamation point. Here I have compiled a list of what I feel to the ten scariest video game monsters. For one reason or another, I believe that these characters have something to offer a true horror fan, even if sometimes you have to dig deep to see it. After all, horror is nothing without imagination, if newer horror films and fans are any indication. So with nothing else to say, let's get right into it. Don't lose your head.

The Top Ten Scariest Video Game Monsters and Villians of All Time

10. The W Star (Drahkken, SNES) - So to claim anything scary can happen in this particular title may seem odd at first, but there are a few moments that are noteworthy at least to nerds as big as me and my circle. Drahkken is an old RPG from the early nineties which tried to utilize a three-dimensional, first person environment. It wasn't exactly successful but did make the game unique for it's time. One thing the game would do is change the time of day as you were playing. Once nightfall hit is when some shit would really start to go down. The player would notice the many stars in the sky, shining quite brightly. As you trek forward you may notice a W-shaped set of stars in the sky. Thinking nothing of it, you continue on. And then suddenly, those stars start to move, flapping up and down like some kind of crazy bird while a creepy music tone on a downward scale begins to play. Then suddenly you hear a loud, low sounding "boom," and everything stops of a second. Then out of nowhere, a flying creature with a skulllike head comes careening out of the sky and attacks. You inevitable think "What the HELL is that?!" and proceed to fight this thing, hoping you're leveled up enough to take it on. This occurance actually happens with multiple sets of stars in this game but the very first time we saw it was with the W-set, earning the name we gave it, the W Star. No matter how much you get used to this, it's always bizarre and unexpected granting it a place on this list.

9. The Cyberdemon (DOOM, PC) - One of the greatest first-person bosses of all time in arguable the greatest first person shooter of all time. As you first enter his level, noting the dead Barons chained up on the wall (which, before this point you assume are the baddest thing on two legs), the Cyberdemon will likely first make his presence known to you once you open one of the four doors leading to the exterior of his arena-like stage, and see the flaming skulls known as lost souls. Inevitably, you will sneer at this relatively simple and weak monster, and take it out with your shotgun. However, upon the first shot of your rifle ringing out into the air, you'll hear a staggering and terrifying roar from an unknown source, followed by an unknown "crash-BOOM!" sound which continuously repeats. You realize something else is here with you. And it is big. And it is coming for you. What will likely happen next is that you will step out into the open area, turn a corner or two, and in the distance you'll see something. "What the fuck is - " will likely be all you have time to think before a missle comes flying right into your face, instantly splattering you all over Hell's floor. Although it's hard to get close enough for a look, the Cyberdemon gets his name from the steel, cybernetic right leg he sports and the rocket launcher which is inexplicably attached to his left arm. The rest of this towering hell beast includes a hooved left leg, huge black horns on the sides of his head, and all kinds of red, bloody wires sticking in and out of him. It's not good enough that all of Hell is trying to tear you apart, but now they're using human cybernetic technology to do it with. What makes the Cyberdemon so terrifying is that he's incredibly large, incredibly strong, and is essentially equipped with a one hit kill. I mean okay, if you have 200% health, Doom Guy might take the first hit, but he's probably not takin' that second hit. Only experienced players can go toe-to-toe with this behemoth, the rest of you will have to run for you life, taking it whatever shots become available to you. The goat-legged Cyberdemon's discouraging endurance, terrifying attack power and horrifying looks give him a sure position among scariest video game monsters.

8. Michael Myers (Halloween, Atari 2600) - It might seem laughably improbable that an Atari game could do anything in the way of scaring you, but here me out, here. In this game, you essentially wander a house which is a series of hallways, taking children to the safe rooms and looking for a weapon. Meanwhile, every time you enter a room (other than safe rooms) within seconds you'll be confronted by Michael Myers, with an Atari-appropriate version of the classic Halloween theme playing during his screen time, "Dee doo doo dee doo doo dee doo dee doo dee doo doo dee doo doo..." as the collection of pixels known as Michael Myers stalks towards you in a constant stabbing motion with the four or five white pixels that make up his "knife." If he gets you, you'll enjoy a rather humorous animation of your female character running frantically with her head cut off, red dots spewing from her neck. Michael will also decapitate the children if you let him, and I do mean "if you let him," as the game allows you to grab onto the children to take them to safe rooms for points, but you may also decide to use them as bait, as Michael seems more interested in killing them rather than you. So at first this isn't scary, just silly. But as levels progress, and you continue to stab Myers with the black knife you can't seem to hold on to, he gets faster and most aggressive until soon, you can barely outrun him. What's worse is that you'll enter rooms with faulty "wiring" causing the screen to flash from normal to pitch black while Michael's in the room with you. "Oh God, where am I?" you'll wonder and you hope to have run past the derranged mad man, only to find yourself headless once the lights come back on. With time, Michael Myers will make this one of your most stressful experiences in gaming.

7. Mr. Graves (Haunted House, Atari 2600) - And yet another Atari release. This time, you are in yes, a haunted house, trying to escape with all of the pieces of the urn of Mr. Graves. You enter said dead man's mansion and wander around, your character only being a part of eyes. You hit the button to light a match which will give you a small orb of visibility. Only with the match lit can you find items and realistically navigate the black squares and lines that make up this house. So when entering certain floors, you may hear an intimidating noise which could be either thunder or wind. Then suddenly, the ghost of Mr. Graves appears and he blows out your match as he chases you down! Sure, he may look like one of those sheet-wearing ghosts from the cartoons, but this guy's not playing around. Something about the speed and frantically waving arms of this character just gets you all high strung and desperate to escape. Should Mr. Graves, or any of his buddies such as the bat or spider touch you, your little eyes will violently roll around as thunder and lightning strike, costing you one life. This game is considered to be a classic and even prompted a remake on the Wii under the same name.

6. Jason (Friday the 13th, NES) - The Hockey Masked killer we all know and love would get his own video game back in the day, even if it wasn't EXACTLY the best piece of media you could own. One thing that couldn't be denied however is that this game could certainly get a cheap scare in on you. The main idea was that you wandered camp Crystal Lake, killing zombies, wolves, bats, and birds until an alarm would sound, indicating that Jason was attacking either the campers or a fellow counselor. You'd check the map to see which cabin was in distress and race to the location before time ran out. Upon reaching the cabin, the inhabitant(s) would thank you for coming, and then you'd search the cabin in pseudo-3D mode. This is where the scare would take place. As you turned corners and advanced forward, eerie but calm music would play as you found a lot of corners and spaces. And then without warning, a loud and horrifying noise would blare and boom, there's Jason, trying to punch, slice, or axe you to death. You'd use whatever projectile you have to try and defeat him while dodging his attacks, repeating this entire process once he's gone. But Jason doesn't only appear in cabins. Without warning, you can be walking along the dirt road, totally care-free (as the zombies are annoying but far from scary), and them BAM - it's Jason! Hurling axes at you will sporting his baby blue hockey mask and purple jogging suit. Look, I assure you, it IS scary, sometimes. Especially when Jason is randomly in a cabin that isn't even inhabited which DOES happen, which is sort of the genuis of this game. Even if he looks silly, Jason IS very unpredictable and can get the jump on you like he did so many randy teenagers in his classic films. This game will never be noted for it's quality but is noted for its intense difficulty. Taking down Jason is a slow, methodical process that spans three "days" and will likely be fruitless for you in the end.


5. Nemesis (Resident Evil III, Playstation) - This is a character that I myself have never met, but have heard much about. I have never played a Resident Evil game, save for the weird one on the Gameboy Color, so I'm going by what my sister has told me about this guy. In essence, as you play through this game, you are constantly being stalked by Nemesis, a mutated version of Tyrant, or in other words, a big fucking zombie. However, unlike Tyrant, Nemesis has a rocket launcher. How fun. Now when I say "constantly being stalked," I do mean that. At every point in the game you're essentially running from him, and he's never too far away. He'll bust through doors and crash through walls to get to you, all the while never quickening his step beyond a walk. There's nothing like the feeling of constantly being chased, and Nemesis will never allow you a moment of ease, making him a high ranking monster in the video game world and on this list, even if I myself have never met him.

4. Sae (Fatal Frame II, Playstation 2) - This is another example of a character and game I've never experienced, but just hearing about this awful child is chilling in and of itself. The idea of Fatal Frame is that you are attacked by ghosts and aparitions, but you cannot attack them, merely snap pictures of them to harm them. So when you take the powerlessness of that situation, tack on the detail of not having even your camera, and then include a demonic ghost child which will kill you instantly with just a touch, you've got yourself a game that even a horror fan such as myself is not necessarily eager to try and tackle. What happens is that you're in a labrynthine area full of dead ends and little hope. Sae, an evil 15 year old girl who was hung for ritual sacrifice, stalks you while eliciting horrifying laughs and a exhibiting a taste for death. Go ahead, run into a different, close the door behind you. Sae will open it up and follow you right in there. Hide in a closet, hope for the best, but if she thinks he knows where you are, she'll open that door right up. In the split second opportunity you'll have to run, you'd better hope you don't find a dead end, or you will indeed be finished. You can't kill her, you can't hurt her, you can only run. And in most instances, you'll only be delaying the inevitable. This very situation taps into my greatest type of fear when it comes to gaming, and for that reason, even if I am unfamiliar with this character and series, Sae ranks highly on this list.

3. Piggsy (Manhunt, Playstation 2) - "Holy Shit!" is the first thing I remember saying when I first encountered Piggsy at the end of what I often call my second favorite video game of all time, Manhunt. You get the Leatherface experience with this character in slightly different packaging. Piggsy is a crazed, naked man who wears a pig's head as a mask, starring in many snuff films by Lionel Starkweather, an ex direction who essentially owns the city of Carcer. Oh, and I forgot to mention, as you'll find while you're walking down the seemingly quiet hallway of a dilapidated attic-like area of Starkweather's mansion, Piggsy also has a loud, powerful and huge fucking chainsaw, which he introduces to you by running right at you from behind a corner, revving it up while screaming at you. Again, "Holy shit!" Instantly you'll run for the fucking hills while this obese man somehow manages to give you a frantic and brain-scrambling chase, the chainsaw roaring hungrily for your blood. With luck you'll find a shadowed area to hide in, while Piggsy stands just a few feet in front of you, searching the area as the motor of his massive-bladed chainsaw idles, intimidatingly. In fact, Piggsy may even try and trick you into dashing out into the open by revving up the chainsaw once again, even if he doesn't actually know where you are. In time, he'll lumber away to search elsewhere. You'll spend the first several moments of this time paralyzed with fear. When you can blink again, you may inch out of your hiding spot and take the nearby glass shard, trying to see if you can spot the location of the chainsaw-wielding maniac in the distance. You'll turn slightly, looking in a difference, direction, completely unaware than Piggsy has once again caught side of you from another angle until that saw revs up again and he charges you. As your brain and hands freeze in horror, you hope your mental capacity return in just enough enough for you to hold down that run button and get the hell out of there....

2. Pyramid Head (Silent Hill 2, Playstation 2) - Pyramid head is easily one of the all time iconic video game villains, and also one of the most frightening. Admittedly, fans of this guy can prove to be irksome, especially if they are mainly familiar with the movie version of him. And sure, at times he may seem a bit overrated, but anyone who's truly played Silent Hill 2 knows that he didn't get his reputation for nothing. This bizarre character wields a huge knife that's so heavy, even he must drag it behind him. Sure, he may be slow, but if that knife does hit you...that's it. It's over. Not only that, but he follows you for the entirety of the game, the very embodiment of punishment. You may call him Pyramid Head, you may call him Crimson Pyramid, but you could also accurately call him the Executioner. No matter where you go, he's waiting for you, an unstoppable wraith hell bent on making you pay for your sins. The giant pyramid which makes up what you know to be his head conceals intentions and thought in a fortess of mystery, as he slowly approaches to put you down for all time. Encountering him in a tight space is the stuff of nightmares, and naturally is the way in which you will most often meet him. The battle you have with him early in the game in the stairwell will have you in a death drip of stress, as you are always no more than a foot or two out of the reach of his Great Knife, vieing for any position that may or may not be available. You'll put clip after clip of bullets in his head before he finally retreats, waiting to confront you again at a later time. And that's the truly horrifying part about Pyramid head. It's not so much having to see or fight him. It's that you KNOW he's going to come back. But you won't know where, and you won't know when. Pyramid Head would be a gross oversight if he were to be omitted from this collection, and although it may be a surprise to most that he doesn't make up the crown of this list, it is certainly expected of him to be positioned very high in the world of video game monsters.

1. Sinistar (Sinistar, Arcade Coin-Op) - "Run, Coward! Run Run Run!" There's only one thing worse than a giant, interstellar juggernaut chasing you down, hell bent on catching and devouring you. And that's hearing him tell you about it. Yes, Sinistar is the original badass of the video game world and with good reason. Never before had a video game villain had such personality and such charisma while being so unstoppable. The idea of Sinistar is that aliens are working to build a huge monster known as the Sinistar, a demonic face among a circular border which flies powerfully and without inhibition throughout the universe. To destroy this beast, you must take your tiny ship and shoot planetoids to mine crystals to make Sinibombs, made from the same crystals which are used to build Sinistar, himself. There is no time to fool around. The sounds of Sinistar's construction act as a ticking clock of sorts as you race to be ready for the monster once he is completed. "Beware, I live!" exclaims Sinistar from somewhere deep in space as he announces his own completion. You pray that you have enough bombs to smash the Sinistar as you race away, Sinistar hot in pursuit. "I hunger, coward!" He shouts, revealing his intentions. "Run, coward!" As the huge monster comes closer, you shoot off all of your Sinibombs. You hear his terrifying screams as the bombs connect. He has taken damage but a moment later you come to the heart-sinking realization that not all of the bombs connected, having been intercepted by planetoids and smaller aliens. And now Sinistar is after you, chasing you down with no distraction, no diversion, and no mercy, knocking planetoids out of his way as if they were mere marbles. He's right behind you, as you race as fast as you can into endless space, twisting and turning, unable to shake him. What will you do? The answer - nothing. You can do nothing now. Inevitably, Sinistar will catch up to you. "RAAAAAARGGHHH!" he roars as your ship spins out of control and is pulled to his mouth as if caught in a tractor beam. Finally, as you enter that terrible maw, his teeth snap snap down, shattering your ship into dozens of tiny pieces. Approximate play time: 35 seconds. It's hard to believe a game like this was available in 1982, and it's even harder to believe the cult following it still has, today. There is perhaps no game that imbodies a seemingly inescapable chase such as Midway's classic Sinistar. Perhaps no other game can instill this kind of stress and fear in the player, either. Sinistar was a game that was well ahead of its time, and Sinistar is a villain that simply can't be matched as a character or a villain. Sure, you can destroy him. But he'll be back. And one way or another...he's gonna get you. Although this character and game may not be expected by many comtempary gamers (better known as 'posers'), as a fan of classic gaming, I feel that Sinistar truly deserves to enjoy the top tier of the scariest video game monsters/villains of all time. He was groundbreaking, he was legendary, and most of all...he was terrifying.


Don't forget to stop by our shop for video game toys and collectibles for sale:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Happy October and Vacation Shipping Schedule

It's October and here in Minnesota we're seeing lovely leaf changes and getting some nice crisp fall days. Perfect weather for caramel apples and pumpkin pie. Hopefully wherever you are it's been just as nice.

Normally with the cooler weather it's the perfect time to do some store updates but due to an accidental drop our laptop is broken, so we've had limited internet access and haven't been able to add anything new. That being said though they are a bit delayed we have been able to process orders normally so if you're expecting something it's on it's way. :)We've ordered a new laptop so hopefully things will be back to normal in a few weeks.

On the note of shipping scheduling, we'll be going on vacation from the 9th to 15th we're leaving the shop open while gone, but our new computer won't be here until after we come back so we won't be able to answer questions or process orders until we return. We expect our first shipping day after we get back to be Tuesday the 18th so please keep that in mind when placing an order. All Orders placed by Thursday the 6th will be shipped before we leave for vacation so if you want something by next week be sure to get your order in sometime in the next two days.

We hope you all enjoy the lovely month of October and we look forward to being able to doing business with you soon.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sales Time!

Here's a Sale, it never fails, it makes me wanna wag my tail when it comes I want to wail SAAALLEEE! (brought to you by the mail song from Blue's Clues)

So silly song aside, we really are having a sale, a few of them actually. First up is our manga sale.

 We've already reduced our manga and comic prices drastically and most are less than $3 a volume with many at $1. On top of these already low prices we're currently offering 30% off on all our manga with coupon Code: Mangasale
This code works on any Manga, Comics, or Books in are our aptly named Comics Manga and Books section. So go find yourself some awesome reading material!

Next leg of our sale is the Clearance section. You know how sometimes you pu something in your closet and forget about it until leg warmers aren't cool anymore? Well that's happened in our stock room so we've been marking down a lot of stuff  that's been sitting too long being unloved. Most of it's cooler than leg warmers have ever been too for example:

This super awesome promo poster for Kai Doh Maru. It's down from $5 to $2 and even if you've never seen it, it has gorgeous art!

Or there's this super adorable Magical Do Re Mi/ Ojamajo Doremi UFO Catcher of Momoko with a cookie, down to $5 from $9

Or if you're looking for something more vintage, there's this super cute Care Bears Warm Feelings board game. Down to $7 from $9

That's just a tiny sampling of our sale pages, so head on over to our clearance section and snag yourself a great deal before they're gone. For an even better deal you can combine clearance prices with the manga sale code, so go forth and shop cheaply!

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Secret Life of our Sailor Moon Dolls

Have you ever wondered what your dolls are up to while you're at work or sometimes just in the next room? Well I can't speak for all dolls, but with some careful investigation we discovered that our dolls, lead active, interesting lives when they're not posing on a shelf for us. These pictures are the result.

I originally did this as a series of picture posts on twitter, they've been recollected here with a bit of additional info. In case you're wondering why there's no Sailor chibimoon and no Sailor Saturn it's because they're secret lives are so secret, even we don't know about them. (or because we don't have 6inch Japanese dolls of those two) So with that out of the way,

Sailor Mercury is a world renowned Star Wars Model Builder. This AT-AT model is one of her finest accomplishments.

  Sailor Venus is secretly a biker, we caught her on her way back from Sturgis.

Sailor Pluto is an accomplished equestrian, her horse is name Dusty.

 Sailor Mars is a Trekkie and spends her weekends attending Star Trek conventions, this picture marks her fourth meet and greet with Brent Spiner and Patrick Stewart.

Kino Makoto, AKA Sailor Jupiter, loves the movie Akira and started her own yearly convention.

Sailor Neptune uses intense training sessions with close personal friend Godzilla to keep her fighting edge.

Sailor Uranus Trained to be a Bounty Hunter on Spaceship Beebop in case this whole Sailor Senshi thing doesn't work out.

Usagi, AKA Sailor Moon, is really into the organic movement and grows all her own food.

And there you have it, you never know what your dolls might be up to when you're not looking.


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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Sailor Moon! ( & coupon code)

It's Usagi and Chibiusa's Birthday today!

If you're a Saior Moon lover like we are that means it's a cause for celebration! So for the rest of today only you can get 10% off your purchase of sailor moon items in our shop! Just use coupon code Usagi

But hurry about because it's only good until midnight tonight!

If you're not in a shopping mood, Join us for a celebration over on Twitter and help us and the other moonies make #Sailormoon a trending topic for her birthday!

(If for some crazy reason you aren't a Sailor Moon fan, we have the Inuyasha sale  still going on as well)

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Top Ten Most Underrated Video Games (As told by Richard)

Richard one of our regular contributors wrote this as a journal on another site, and while we're not all completely in agreement with this list we thought it well worth sharing here.


10. Pro Pinball: The Web (PC, Playstation) - As far as video pinball goes, you'll be hard pressed to find something competitive with this. It's incredibly fun, and high scoring so you feel really good about yourself. Aside from so-so sound effects, the game play here can get truly addicting and consuming. This game features super fun jackpot modes, great graphics and excellent physics, and this is especially true for its three sequels, Timeshock!, Big Race USA, and Fantastic Journey. I'd highly recommend this one for any pinball fan.

9. Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES) - I have to admit, this one made it to the list as the arbitrary winner of a list of a few other games that were last to be selected, but that isn't to say I don't have fond memories of this one growing up. You and a partner should you have one wonder your once peaceful suburban neighborhood, destroying zombies and other monsters with weapons such as water pistols, tomatoes, silverware, soda cans and more. Along the way you want to save the still living neighbors from being killed by the monsters. You lose if every living person (or dog) in a level perishes. You may also encounter things such as a ten story tall baby, killer clones of you and your buddy, and a delightful little level simply known as Chainsaw Hedgemaze Mayhem. This is a solid SNES game that doesn't short out of the fun.

8. No One Can Stop Mr. Domino! (Playstation) - This hidden gem hearkens back to the days when early 3D games, especially in the Playstation era, were often these quaint, quirky, strange, arcade-ish, and most importantly, very fun titles. Mr. Domino was a unique game of notable difficulty in which the player would control and anthropomorphic, walking domino as it would leave behind a limited supply of other dominoes at it progressed, and as the title implies, your little domino can not be stopped. The most you can do is slow down but coming to a full stop only happens when your energy is depleted, and your walking domino turns back into an inanimate little dotted rectangle.
The goal is to leave dominoes in front of various buttons on a repeating course, and leave a trail of dominoes from a marked spot and lead them to yet another button, repeating this as well as you can. Upon coming back around the course, you now run into your initial domino which will trigger some kind of action in the level which in most cases leads to the marked spot being disturbed. If a domino is there, then it will fall, sending any and all dominoes lined up in front of it tumbling to the floor. Do this right and you can create a course-length domino effect that's both impressive to achieve and fun to watch. Also on the course are health pickups, speed ups, slow downs, and reset tiles which reset the level back to default. The darker the back of your walking domino becomes, the less energy you have and the more urgently you need to walk over a health tile. Your health depletes faster as you progress to later levels. Pushing all required buttons in a level clears you to enter the next. So if you can, I highly suggest you pop Mr. Domino into your Playstation. And go ahead. Just try to stop him. I dare you.

7. Vegas Stakes (SNES) - Put your PokerStars and other douchey gambling sites away, none of them can outdo the beauty that is Nintendo's own gambling epic, Vegas Stakes. In this game you and four of your friends set out on the realistic goal of traveling to Las Vegas, Nevada, and not leaving until you've accumulated ten million dollars. Throughout this little (mis)adventure, you will play Slots, Craps, Roulette, BlackJack, and Seven Card Stud Poker. You can also travel to different casinos with differing minimums and limits. Once you've turned your initial $1,000 investment into $100,000, you will be given High Roller status and be invited to gamble at the prestigious Laurel Palace, where there are no limits and all non-slot minimums are $1,000. Classy, no? Also, as you play your little games of chance, other gamblers may engage you for one reason or another. Some of them may be wanting to get some pointers, others may be selling jewelry, and others yet may need money for their sick child. Beware, as some of these people may be pickpockets and con artist. However, an interaction with the right person could gain you any number of riches. These interactions are what sets Vegas Stakes apart from your run of the mill gambling games.

6. Super Punch-Out!! (SNES) - Although nothing can quite measure up to the classic boxing epic that was Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, this game had so much comical, zany fun packed into it that it's no wonder the word "Boxing" is never once found in the game. You are now controlling a new character whom you yourself will name. The gameplay is rather similar to the NES game, heavily based on dodging and counter punches. The main difference is better graphics, and you are no longer vertically challenged. When you gain enough momentum, you can unleash a powerful hook to the face, body, or a pummeling flurry of blows to either area. And, until you are hit again, this is unlimited. But remember, this is not a boxing simulation. This is an arcadey, cartoonish, fist-heavy (but not limited), brawling, ass-kick-a-thon. And your opponents may not-so-discretely sneak in a headbutt, kick to the face, spit in the eye, or even a large cane shot to the head. The game features fast and fun action, although admittedly repetitive, hilarious facial expressions and amazing if not slightly ridiculous knockdown animations. It's somewhat rare but a great play even for non-boxing fans.

5. Fire Pro Wrestling (GBA, Playstation 2) - Fire Pro Wrestling, especially in its later days, was a wrestling game that's always been well received in Japan but never properly loved here in the states. This could probably be attributed not only to stuff competition of WWE games, but also its cartoonish graphic style. Which is truly too bad because these games are amazing examples of in depth details, movesets, and especially customization. The Gameboy Advance version already offered character editing that was incredibly in depth, making each new character no less than a 30 minute project assuming you were as experienced with it as I was.
It offered over 70 characters to make in addition to the ones already there, and I managed to fill them all. But as much as I loved this, nothing could prepare me for the customization offered to you in Fire Pro Wrestling Returns on the Playstation 2, one of my recent acquisitions. Follow me on this. In this game, you can edit a character, including looks, moves (lots of moves...), gender, theme music, favorite weapon, nationality, and tons of other details, you can edit a wrestling organization, and a logo for your new organization, a referee, a title belt, and even a wrestling ring, which you can even put your logo in the center of. You can also choose a finishing move for your wrestling and rename it to whatever you want. And I shit you not, you can even make your character gay. Why is this important? Well...certain moves can only be done by people...willing to perform them. The game also includes moves and faces belonging to actual wrestlers, allowing you to recreate your favorite superstars. And the intense character editor makes it very possible to make other characters you love (just ask Solid Snake and Little Mac over there on my memory card). There is so much more to this game I could get into but I fear I must move on. But if you are a wrestling fan, this really is a must have. And what's more, the Playstation 2 version usually sells for around $5. Sometimes under appreciation pays off.

4. Rogue Trip: Vacation 2012 (Playstation) - It's like Twisted Metal. Only better. In fact, this game was made by the same team who did the first two Twisted Metal games, and the near identical graphics and controls prove this. But this title had a twist that made it infinitely more interesting. Your goal in this game was not only to destroy other vehicles with a huge arsenal of deadly, combustible weapons...
but also, to hijack (yes, hijack) a tourist, and bust into the privately owned last vacation spots on a post apocalyptic Earth, getting them to photo ops and most importantly, collecting cash to use on health and weapon upgrades. There is just one tourist per level, and every auto-mercenary wants him...sounds fun, right? Each level ends when you've "blasted all the competition." However, Big Daddy, owner of these vacation spots, is unhappy about you scoring profit off of his properties. In due time he will send Daddyland security to neutralize you. And should that fail, you will face off with Big Daddy, himself. And let's just say that's not just a name. This game is one I'll always hold close to my heart, existing as one of the first ever games I played on Playstation, and take it from me - it beats the shit out of Twisted Metal.

3. Incredible Crisis (Playstation) - I cannot tell you how much me and my siblings love this game. My sister first brought this home to us when she found it cheap in a store. Far as I know, she knew nothing about it. Its contents would prove to be something we would never forget and cherish forever. Incredible Crisis is a mini-game based title that follows a Japanese family as they go through a series of unlikely, comical, and strange, yes, crisis in order to get home on time for Grandma's birthday. The mini games may involve trying to stop a falling elevator by button mashing, getting a golden piggy bank from a secured room with a crushing, spiked ceiling by measuring grocery items' weight to replace it with, escaping a praying mantis after being shunk down to the size of an ant by running and avoiding obstacles, or our personal favorite, trying to give a pretty lady a satisfying back camera...on a ferris wheel...with only moans to tell you how you're doing...with fireworks going off upon completion. The goal of all of these games and the many more within is to complete the task at hand without blowing your top from stress. A head-shaped meter tells you how stressed you are, and lets you know how urgently you must keep your cool. It's one of the most fun games the Playstation has to offer, and is something that can only be properly explained by playing it.

2. Thrasher: Skate and Destroy (Playstation) - I'm just gonna say it. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater's got nothing on this. You want a game about straight up, dirty, gritty street skating? This is your game. This Rockstar classic is not an arcadey, ridiculous example of super hero-like skateboarding. And it's also not easy. It's a realistic, down to earth street-skating game that requires actual skill to master. There are no secret tapes, no silly letters to collect, no bums to ollie. Simply put, it's all about skating, and skating well. The only way to finish a level is to rack of a score with grinds, flips, grabs and other moves, which are improved by tricking over risky areas such as ramp transfers and over moving vehicles. When a level begins you're free to explore for as long as you want. Once you've got an idea of what you're doing, you can start your run, and you'll have 2 minutes to get the required score.
Once you've done it, head for the exit. If you do not leave the area in time, then at the end of your run (unless you're in an official competition), you'll be pursued by a cop, a mugger, or even a police dog. The screen switches to their view with you in the distance, making controlling quite a bit more difficult. Doing tricks in front of these guys is worth triple would they would be normally, giving you one final shot to break through the ceiling of the needed score. If you're caught, then you will have to start the level over. If you escape, you will only win if your score is high enough. What also makes this game great is fully "customizable" bails. That's right, unlike Tony Hawk's preloaded animations, once you leave your board, your character basically becomes a rag doll and what happens to him now is up to your environment and God. If you sustain too much damage during your run, your board will break, which is an automatic loss. Also, in two player mode, there are several games you can play. But one of those games stands head and shoulders above the rest: Sick Fix. Simply put, a contest on who can hurt their character the most. And believe you me, this can get interesting in the Subway level. There's so much more to discover in this skating classic (including the best old school rap soundtrack ever put together, yes rap, it IS cool you scrawny white bastards) and it's truly too bad there will never be another. But if you're a real skater, not just a Tony Hawk fan, then go find this game. If you don't love it, you suck.

1. Silent Hill (Playsation) - Yes, I'm sure at least some of you find this to be a surprising conclusion to the list, especially since the Silent Hill series has plenty of appreciation at this point but hear me out. For a long time, Silent Hill's release was followed with skeptics shrugging it off as a Resident Evil clone. And only when Silent Hill 2 came out did the original start to get the appreciation it had long since deserved. At yet, despite all of this, due to factors as trivial as graphics and the inclusion of Pyramid Head, Silent Hill 2 has long been hailed the superior game of the ever expending series. But here are the fact, from a guy who started from the beginning. The original Silent Hill was a genius game that offered things never before seen in video games and is the scariest piece of media you ever own, period.

When I first played this game, I couldn't believe how much it scared me, especially considering that I was long used to PS2/Xbox level graphics by the time I got to it. But despite that and the admittedly laughable voice acting, once the lights go out and the music starts'll wish you never put this one in the machine. The atmosphere was never again matched, even in the sequels, likewise with the music. The music in this game is absolutely horrifying and is unparalleled by any other horror compositions. The bizarre story is gripping despite being nearly unfollowable, and by the time this one's over, you may truly never look at horror games the same again. It is the scariest game of all time, no arguments, and although Silent Hill 2 is a great game in its own right, it never comes close to achieving what this one did. And for that matter, the original Silent Hill takes its place as my pick for the #1 most underrated video game.

So there we have it, the first of perhaps many top ten lists to come. This one literally took me hours to write which is just how I like it.


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