My e-Reader Card Collection: Nintendo’s Last Straw.

I have made a fair share of questionable purchases over the years. Back when I was still a Nintendo apologist, during the heydays of Gamecube puttering along way behind the PS2 and when the Game Boy Advance was king of all portable gaming, I had bought stuff that in hindsight wasn’t that useful. Such as the GBA-GC link cable that connected a GBA to a Gamecube to transfer data, or in the case of games like Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, have all the action take place on the GBA.

This looks neat at first glance, doesn’t it? Oh, if only.

But that isn’t nearly as much in terms of questionable purchasing decisions as me buying into Nintendo’s e-Reader. Not to be confused with an eBook reader, the e-Reader was a Game Boy Advance add-on where you could scan cards with codes printed on the side to get cool goodies. It sounds like a good idea on paper, but the execution was poor: Games sometimes needed 3-10 codes scanned to play something, you could only hold one thing on the e-Reader’s memory at a time, and you needed a GBA link cable if you wanted to transfer anything from an e-Reader to another system, or the Gamecube.

It was a mess. Needless to say, Nintendo of America wasn’t having more of this and discontinued the thing around 2004. Thus leaving me with a bunch of cards I had acquired that I didn’t really have much use for anymore.

52 e-reader pickup (digital photography, 2018)

Over 15 years after the e-Reader came out, I still have the damn cards. And I’m gonna show some of them off here. Now, these aren’t the most rare, or the most valuable, these are just cards I find interesting, because they have a story to them. Note I’m only gonna list cards I personally own, as much as it would be interesting to write about Japanese exclusive e-Reader cards, I don’t have those.

Props to Nintendo for using the original Famicom cover art, at least.

Donkey Kong Jr.-e

One of the two pack-in classic games – the other being Pinball – this was part of the “Classic NES Series” which featured almost nothing but early NES games, the ones you see crop up everywhere on Nintendo platforms: Donkey Kong, Balloon Fight, Ice Climber, even much-maligned brawler Urban Champion got the e-Reader treatment.

The first card shows how to play the game, with each subsequent card giving some important tips on how to play and eventually master the game. It’s nice considering people even of my generation never grew up on the older NES catalog, but them not being based on more “powerful” NES games like Super Mario Bros. really made this particular series only interesting to diehard Nintendo fans.

It also didn’t help it came on five cards, with one set of two dot codes each. That’s 10 codes I had to scan to play this thing. Worst off, if I wanted to play any other game, I had to remove the game from memory, thus requiring me to scan all ten codes again if I wanted to replay it.

Funny enough, some of these games later got treatment as part of a brief stint of a different “Classic NES Series,” which was on traditional cartridges. These featured more of the NES classics you’d be familiar with, like The Legend of Zelda and Metroid. Why scan 10 codes of Ice Climber when you could buy the same thing for a higher price on a traditional cartridge? Nintendo probably didn’t think that one through too well.

I’ve seen some of these Classic NES Series card packs on sale during the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, and I sometimes get the temptation to get another one of these. Then I realize I’d have to scan 10 codes, and I could play that game elsewhere with less hassle.

…Have I mentioned I hated having to scan 10 freakin’ codes yet?

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Game finds 8/22/14: A whole mess of gaming junk.

Holy crap, when’s the last time I publicly documented my game finds on the blog? Seems like it was just last year when I wrote about find a “NOT FOR RESALE” copy of Streets of Rage 2, and a 20 minute video that about 3 of you watched. Let’s resurrect this old series, because I got some good stuff this time around.

Through most of 2014, I’ve found mostly cheap games, stuff like Eye Toy: Antigrav, licensed games based on The Great Escape and Starsky & Hutch, old PC games such as Mickey’s Word Adventures, even recent Game Informer issues for 50 cents each. If you’re following me on Twitter, you might’ve seen these already.

Funny enough, I found Mickey’s Word Adventures after taking advice from YouTuber Lazy Game Reviews. After mentioning him on Twitter, I found out one of my finds were in a viewer finds segment of his “LGR Thrifts” show. I was floored when I saw it too, I didn’t expect it to be featured in the slightest. (It’s at the end of this episode, if you’re wondering. Look for the magazines on green bedding.)

Back in June while I was job hunting, I went into my local Bi-Mart. I’ve mentioned Bi-Mart before when I wrote about Atari Hot Wheels, and it hasn’t changed one iota: It still feels like I stepped into a late ’80s supermarket. While perusing their games section, I found a whole bunch of these:

Man, remember when the Rabbids were a thing? I can’t say I miss them.

It’s Rayman Raving Rabbids for the Game Boy Advance, sealed, for $6. I’m finding sealed Game Boy Advance games. In 2014. Even the guy at the counter was surprised, mentioning a war fighting game and a World of Warcraft expansion also collecting dust. His words: “Somebody made the wrong call on this one.” At least this copy of Raving Rabbids has a home now. I bet there’s still plenty of copies, two months later.

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A pile of items off my desk.

So I’m a messy person. My desk is usually cluttered with loads of junk on it. It doesn’t help that my desk is straight out of 1995, complete with old shelves and cut holes to plug stuff in like printers. I was fed up, and on Monday I decided to clean up my desk. It’s less of a mess now, but I then found a bunch of junk that I couldn’t have the heart to throw away.

I had a bunch of old school IDs and school bus passes, papers for stuff I did about 2-3 years ago, old phone bills, and just loads and loads of junk I should’ve tossed. But there’s a small amount of stuff I found that’s worth writing something about. So here it is:

Isn’t it a pretty sight? Yeah, this might have more toys than games, I don’t think you guys will mind. Let’s start from the top.

  • Atari Catalog from 1982 (?). I honestly forgot I had this. Covers Atari’s game library for the 2600. Sadly, the front cover is badly damaged, but the rest of it is in good shape. You could sign up for the Atari Game Club, which apparently someone did. I think I got this along with some 2600 boxes and a Super Mario Bros. 3 guide from a garage sale years ago.
  • Laser Pop projector candy. It’s a sucker that doubled as a flashlight. Got this years ago as a gimmick purchase, held onto it because of the concept. I’ve heard of Ring Pops, but I didn’t see Laser Pops getting popular. The light still works, surprisingly.
  • Twin Super Brick Game 2-in-1: It’s a Chinese Tetris Clone. Got this somewhere, complete with a box that had “SUPER BRICK CAME” on the side of it. If I ever find the box, I’ll give this a quick video review.
  • Tiger Electronics catalog from 1998. Ah, Tiger Electronics. Makers of so many god damn electronic handheld games that now rot on the shelves of Goodwills everywhere. I’m actually fascinated by a bunch of the items on display, like the and R-Zone, Tiger’s attempts to tackle the portable video game market, as well as the “grip games” featuring Duke Nukem 3D. They were even selling Talkboys! I was surprised those were still popular by this time!
  • Back to the Future watch. I like Back to the Future. It’s my favorite film trilogy, partially because of the time travel aspect, but because it has such a wonderful charm over 25 years later. The watch itself is more stylized like an old style watch where you’d put it on your belt or something. I honestly don’t know where I got this.
  • SEGA IR7000 Communicator. This is a really nice piece of obscurity: A Sega PDA from the late 90s. It does the typical PDA stuff: Calendars, contacts, a calculator… But it also had a fighting game where you’d fight with other owners of the IR7000 and get XP, or compete against the AI, which was a cheating bastard. Alas, I’ve never found anyone else who owned this thing. $10 at a Goodwill long long ago.
  • Destructoid sticker. Got this at PAX Prime 2012. Destructoid is an alright site worth visiting.
  • My old phone. A Samsung Transform. My first smartphone, and it was one hell of a learning experience, realizing the thing ran an old version of the Android OS, was slow as hell, and couldn’t play any games. I upgraded to a Galaxy SIII this year, and it’s a drastic improvement.
  • Back to the Future Part II model DeLorean. Inspired by Micro Machines, this came in a two-car set along with the futuristic car from 2015 (that I’ve since lost). Pretty cool toy.
  • Pokemon Tic-Tac-Toe. This is really cool: It reminds me of the old “Toss Across” games, even though it’s just regular ass Tic-Tac-Toe. You flip the knobs on the side to reveal Pikachu or Raichu. It’s built on a keychain, so I bet a kid circa 1999 could be the cool kid on the block with this toy. Okay, maybe not, but it’s a cool toy nonetheless.
  • Link figure from The Legend of Zelda. I think I got this at a Round Table Pizza at one of them vending machines that dispensed toys. I had another cool toy from that same place: A mini-projector of images from Super Donkey Kong 2. Yeah, somehow a Japanese toy came to the US without anyone questioning it, or even correcting it to the US title (Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest). Sadly that got damaged and thrown away a long time ago. 😦
  • Army figurine. One of two items from the Wunderland visit back in December. The other item, the top, is in a plastic bag somewhere.
  • Chuck E. Cheese token. Oh snap, this is a blast from the past. Remember Chuck E. Cheese? If you don’t, it was much cooler when you were a kid. Nowadays they’re probably a shadow of their former selves. Funny enough, there is still a Chuck E. Cheese not too far from my house. I bet it’s a joy to visit these days.
  • Rubber band Axe. This is from some PAX booth, I just couldn’t tell you which one.
  • Bunch of old DDR1 RAM. I end up with a bunch of old computer junk, like video cards from years ago, a PCI wireless adapter that supports 802.11b, and this RAM. I think there’s about 2-3GB there. The question is: Who needs DDR1 RAM nowadays? Does it even work? If it doesn’t, where would you go to get rid of it besides tossing it into the trash?
  • Senario Games motion basketball LCD game. Our final item is a weird LCD game where you use the shoulder buttons on the ball to shoot in the game. Bought this at a Sporting Goods store, probably isn’t fun at all to play.

As for the other stuff in the picture, it’s just dinky stuff like a hairbrush,  my watch, and a Swiffer duster. Nothing too special there. Yeah, this was a silly entry for me to write. But I have a bunch of game-related junk, and I like sharing it to people. Someone’s bound to find this cool, right? 🙂

Also, I did a lot of stuff yesterday, including finding some game and magazine deals, which will be featured in an upcoming Game Finds video. Stay tuned!

Pokemon Monopoly: Gotta catch ’em all!

Monopoly, the classic property building board game. Also known as “that one game that goes on forever because dummies add house rules that make a two hour game go on longer than it should.” No, you don’t get money on Free Parking, you must auction a property if you don’t buy it, and you get $200 if you land on GO, not $400. At least it’s a better board game than Risk, now that one’s a pain to play.

I have a large Monopoly collection, from Disney Monopoly to Seattle Mariners Monopoly to one of those bootleg “Build Your Own” Monopoly clones made for Windows 3.1. Though, much like everything in life, I took it to excess and got sick of collecting them, shoving all the various Monopoly games I got in my garage, some of which have never been opened. However, buried between Deluxe Edition Monopoly and Michael Graves Monopoly, there was this special edition:

Yeah, they made a Pokemon Monopoly game. Gotta catch em all, I guess. This edition was made back in 1999. Pokemon fever was in full swing, and this was before Hasbro licensed Monopoly to USAopoly to make such silly spinoffs as The Beatles Monopoly and Rolling Stones Trivial Pursuit. I don’t remember how I got this, but I think I might’ve “borrowed” this from my grandma and never gave it back, I can’t be certain.

I’m going to assume you all know the rules of Monopoly, so instead I’ll just cover the noticeable differences between this and the original you know and hate love.

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Super Power Supplies: The Fall/Winter 1999 Nintendo Power Catalog.

I’ve been in a funk lately. I’ve had no drive to write any new entries or make new videos. Since I come from a pack rat family, There’s bound to be something in my room that’s worth talking about. Hold on, what’s this?

Oh boy, it’s a Super Power Supplies catalog! From 1999! Everybody loves old catalogs, right? I do, at least.

I honestly don’t know how I got this, but judging how it’s from Nintendo Power, I likely got it when I had a subscription to the magazine from 1998-2000. That was an interesting time: Pokemon was becoming a big thing, the Nintendo 64 was winding down, the Game Boy Color was a new and colorful way to play handheld games, and there were magazine covers dedicated to stuff like Tonic Trouble. This makes me realize we’ll never see anything cool like this again, now that Nintendo Power’s gone.

By this time in my gaming career, I was still a hardcore Nintendo nut, but my interest in the Big N started to fade, looking at the cool Sega Dreamcast, and later, the PlayStation 2. I still respect Nintendo, they make good stuff on occasion, even if my mom uses the Wii more than I do. But enough waxing nostalgic about Nintendo, let’s crack open this catalog.

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