Learning Things About Myself – The End of My 50/50 Challenge

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A year ago today, I challenged myself to lose 50 pounds and finish 50 games off my backlog. I decided on this challenge right after I had completed my Master’s program. I needed something to fill the void and to keep myself aiming for some goal or I would just sit around and feel miserable. Now that the challenge is over, I can share with you all my results and what I’ve learned from this experience.

After a year of working on my backlog and weight loss, here are my results:

Weight loss: Loss between 5-10 pounds (Can’t give accurate number since my scale started to act weird)

Games Finished: 29/50

Hooray I didn’t do it! To be completely honest, I knew that I wasn’t going to meet my goals. This is not me trying to sound defeatist. I try to not gave up on my goals at any time, but I didn’t put in all the effort that I know I’m capable of. If anything, this challenge has helped me understand more about myself that I was unaware of.

The Observation

I will say that the biggest thing that I have learned about myself is that I don’t like to do what I tell myself to do. It is bizarre and weird for different reasons. I am the type of person who will drop anything that I am doing to do any request asked of me. That trait is thanks to my upbringing (for better or worse), and I never hesitate to help others when asked (within reason). That doesn’t apply when I tell myself what I want/need to do. I will actively fight with myself over the things that I need to do over what I want to do. For example, if someone told me that I need to wash the dishes, I will get up and do it with little to no fuss. When I tell myself that I need to wash the dishes, I will mellow over it until I finally do it…a few hours or days later. It could be something subconsciously that weighs other’s tasks more important than mine, but that is a whole can of worms for another time.

So how did this affect my challenge? First and foremost, this was a self-imposed challenge that I gave myself. I was doing this for myself and no one else, so naturally I was going to stop caring about it sooner or later. Unlike other projects of mine, like this blog or my spreadsheet projects, I didn’t have the same amount of passion for it. Sure I was determined to make my goals, but at the end of the day it was just for me so my subconscious rejected it. This was very evident in my weight loss goal where I saw the least results in. The desire to lose weight is there, but the only motivator that I have is myself; and since I hate myself apparently, the motivation gets lost pretty quick. I thought talking about it would help keep me accountable, but no one (IRL) was keeping me to my word or encouraging me to keep going. Without that, I saw it as something only I wanted.

Video games are different apparently. Playing games has always been for my enjoyment, so playing through them is for my sole benefit. The problem came from my attitude when choosing and playing the games I want to play. Earlier this year, I made a post about the games that I wanted to finish this year and how they were going to be a priority for me. So far, I have finished 3 out of the 15 that I said I was going to do. Yes I still have time this year to get them done, but I no longer have a strong desire to do so back when I had the desire to play them. Kat was the one who actually pointed this out to me. I have a hard time agreeing to play games that people recommend to me. I tend to play only what I feel like playing right in the moment. When it came to deciding what games I should play for this challenge, the easiest thing that I could have done was to find all the games I had that could have been finished in the shortest time. That felt like cheating in some way. If I shied away from them during this period, then I would shy away from them in the future in my decision making. Being actively engaged with what I’m playing makes the hours-long RPGs go by faster since most of my time is spent only on them rather than sharing the game time with two to three other games. I know the response to this is “well duh,” but this is me that we are talking about.

The Positives

This whole challenge was not a bust. I did learn a lot about myself and what makes me tick. I also have started new habits that will benefit me in the long run.

My diet has changed drastically. In the past I have cut out soda and other sugary drinks, but now I’ve cut off almost all of those types of drinks by 98%. I will have one now and again, but now I gravitate more towards diet or zero sugar versions of those drinks (which are still not the best). Fast food no longer appeals to me. I now start to feel great discomfort whenever I eat at most places. I already didn’t eat a lot before, but now my portion sizes and what I eat have greatly diminished. The only thing holding me back are gummy candy since it gives me something to gnaw on while I’m playing or working on things. My hope is that my improved diet will help me reduce my calorie intake and start seeing small results there.

In addition to that, I do have some neat additions that will hopefully steer me to do better things. I convinced my boss that I needed a new desk for my office, so now I have an adjustable table where I can choose to sit or stand. I also keep a resistance band in my drawer so I can do some workouts during my breaks. For at home, I now have a workout bike on each floor, so now I have no excuse for when I feel like peddling.

With gaming, not much has changed. Now that I understand how my brain ticks, I have been playing more games to completion. According to my data, I have finished more games during this challenge than I have in any other year since 2017 when I started tracking. Currently, I am on track to finishing the most games than I ever have by the end of the year. This is good to know since I have so many games in the backlog to finish.

The Future

So what would I like to do with all of this information? For starters, I think it will be beneficial for me to either join others who are trying to lose weight or hire a personal trainer. I’m fortunate enough to have options via my job, so I may look into those benefits. It’s weird to think that I’m more motivated to do something if I know that others are willing to participate with me.

There are not a whole lot of changes that I need to do with gaming. The only real change is for me to start playing what I feel like playing and not something out of obligation. 

If I decide to do something like this again in the future, I think I will take some more time to prepare myself and be absolutely ready on day one. This doesn’t conclude my weight loss or backlog goals. Rather, I see this as a new outlook on what I want to accomplish in the future and what I need to do in order to see it through.

Vacation is Over. So What’s Next?

It’s finally over.

After two and a half years of working on my Master’s degree, it is finally over! For those of you who don’t know the origins of this blog, I created it as an escape from writing research papers while still improving on my writing skills. I needed an escape from the pressure of writing for a grade and just for fun on topics I actually wanted to talk about. That escape lead to this fun journey where I have meet new people and found an online community that I’m happy to be a part of. Thank you all for allowing me to be a part of the community and reading the random content that I write.

But enough of the mussy stuff. Now that I have more freedom and less stress to worry about (laughing at myself), what am I going to do with the extra time and energy that I will (pretend to) have? I have many ideas on how I want to expand myself a bit more and really concentrate on things here on the blog. So let’s start with one project that I’m excited to get started on!

My 50/50 Challenge!

While I’m happy that I was able to finish grad school, there were two negative effects that happened during the course of it. The first one is my health. Besides increasing my anxiety levels to a whole new plateau, I really let myself go in the weight department. I would definitely consider myself overweight to my standards and have been trying to diet and exercise when I could. Now is the time for me to fully commit myself to getting healthier and reduce a lot of this body fat. So for my first challenge, I want to lose 50 pounds (22.68 kg) by this time next year. Sounds simple enough since I was able to lose a lot of weight in one summer (but that was due to walking everywhere in the Summer heat and only eating one meal a day. I do NOT recommend). I’ve already started a routine and made changes to my diet to avoid overwhelming myself to get started. So far the routine is fun and manageable minus the soreness I feel everywhere. The gym that I go to is fairly empty during the summer months, but once students return to campus in a few weeks I may have to invest in some home gym equipment (I don’t like crowded gyms…).

That’s one half of the challenge. So what is the other half? My waist wasn’t the only thing that expanded these past two years. My backlog has expanded to a level that I was not anticipating when I started collecting. There are many games on my shelf that I picked up during a sale or found a good offer on that I could not refuse. I originally had the hope of playing them sooner than later, but I have games that I got five years ago that I have yet to play. It is time to make amends with this betrayal by finally reducing my backlog a bit. So for my second challenge, I want to finish 50 games on my backlog by this time next year. It would be simple if they were shorter games, but I’m a RPG fan and I like to take my time while playing; so this part of challenge may be the hardest. The good thing for you is that I will write about every game that I finish, so expect lots of new content for each game I finish*.

*The posts on SaGa: Scarlet Grace – Ambitions and Mario Golf: Super Rush do not count as part of my challenge since I finished them before the challenge began.

So that is my new challenge from me to me. I don’t want to flood the blog with updates with my challenge since most of it would be small updates. I will instead use my old almost-abandoned Instagram account to post updates there (and hopefully start using it more). I’m really looking forward to see if I can beat this challenge.

Reorganize Content

For a while, my content has kinda been all over the place with the types of post I upload to the format of them. After much consideration, I have decided to go with these formats to help structure my posts a bit more:

  • Backlog Tales – Posts about games that I have recently finished for the first time.
  • Collection Tales – Posts about games that I’ve already finished, but want to talk about.
  • Opinions Are Just That – My opinion pieces on various topics that I feel like talking about
  • One-off Posts – These would be things like holidays, events, collaborations, the January Awards Ceremony, etc.
  • EXP Share Posts* – Community engagement posts
  • Monthly Reports – My monthly blog report at the end of each month.
  • Updates – Ye ole updates.

I have decided to alter the EXP Share posts a bit. To me it felt like I was heading into generic territory when coming up with prompts each month. I like to be creative when coming up with questions, and I feel like I have been for the most part. So from here on, EXP Share posts will no longer be a monthly thing, but instead pop-up only when I can think of a really good topic that most people will enjoy writing about and/or reading about. I think this will make the posts feel more special rather than a monthly obligation for you and I.

Recording Gameplay

One thing that I really want to get into the habit of doing is recording most of my gameplay. Eventually (and with practice), I want to start creating videos with highlights of my gameplay. Just a fun idea I’ve been playing around with that would also serve as extra content. This also goes in hand with my return to streaming throughout the week.

“BuT Danames,” someone might be saying. “Didn’t you try streaming before and found it weird and stressful?”

Yes. But I realize that that was entirely my fault for making it weird. I was still in the mindset that I needed to be “entertaining” at all times. This resulted in me stepping outside my comfort zone of forcing myself to talk when I have nothing meaningful to really say. I have learned that I am more entertaining to myself when I tell little jokes to myself that turns into a running gag later on. So that will be my strategy going into streaming; and if that doesn’t work for me then I will give up on the streaming idea. This is what my tentative schedule would look like:

Sunday – TBD (most likely in the afternoon)

Friday – 7PM EST – 10PM EST

I will be streaming over at ye olé twitch.tv/danamesx. Come watch me struggle with control inputs and talk to myself as I start to get tired and loss my mind (I talk to myself a lot when I’m tired).

That’s all I got. I’m excited to get back to writing for fun and sharing more gaming related posts in the future!

DanamesX

It’s Not A Hiatus, It’s A Vacation!

As the title says, I am going on vacation soon. How long of a “vacation” am I taking? I’m thinking about a good two month long “vacation.” This isn’t because I’m not enjoying writing or bad mental health. I’m weirdly very motivated right now, but I know when I need to take time for myself; and now seems to be the perfect time. It does also have to do with life changing events, but those are good events that I’m excited for.

End of a Character Arc

I am at the end of my Master’s program. I have my week long End of Program exam starting tomorrow, and then a month long web development class in July. After that, I’ll have to find a new routine to my life. While I’m excited to close this chapter in my life, I would like to use the knowledge I gained these past two and a half years to use outside of my job. This could lead to a change in style of how I write things or spinoff into a new project. I don’t know yet.

Vacation

The other big thing that I’m looking forward to is my actual vacation. Due to a virus that shut the world down, I was unable to go to Japan last year. While we ended up scraping the whole trip, we decided to use the funds to plan this new trip. What makes this trip special is that I get to bring my mom and brother along. We haven’t had a family vacation in a looong time, so I’m excited to share some time with them. They both need the RnR.

Future Posts

There will be one more post from me coming out before I go on my vacation. It will just so happen to be my 100th post on Tales From the Backlog (this is a giant coincidence that I did not plan out). It may turn out to be a long post, but I hope you enjoy reading about some of my favorite games.

In my last update post, I said I was going to fill June up with different Monster Hunter posts from the mainline games. I got two posts in and didn’t make my deadline. I will still publish those two and the others when ready; just know that the style will be more like my Backlog Tales in structure and format. I like to replay and take notes on the games I write about, and after playing a lot of Rise lately, I’m a little burnt out the Monster Hunter formula. Those will come out over the next few months.

EXP Share

Unfortunately, there won’t be an EXP Share post for July. June’s topic will be extended to August, so everyone will have two months to get their thoughts out there. If you want to know the prompt for this month, you can find it on my most recent posts.


To make this post not sound gloomy, here is the latest updates on the games that I’ve been playing:

Finish Games This Month

I finished Astral Chain this month after neglecting it for a while. I wrote a post on a while ago, so you can read that to get my impressions on the game. That is all I did. I promise you all that I do like finishing my games.

Currently Playing

I was originally planning on finishing two other short games this month. Those games would have been Katamari Damacy REROLL and Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury. I was making good progress in Katamari Damacy REROLL, but the game angers me at certain points, and for some reason I just haven’t finished Super Mario 3D World. So instead, I accidently stumbled upon one of my current obsession, SaGa: Scarlet Grace – Ambitions. The SaGa series is a hard one to get into. The battles are difficult, it’s impossible to do everything in a single playthrough, and worse of all, the Free Scenario gameplay means that you can play the story out however you want to. For some reason though, I’m really enjoying it. It feels good winning a hard battle with all of your party members still standing, when you pull off multiple unison attacks in one round, and just learning about all the mechanics as you play. I am getting to the point where I am ready to wrap up my first playthrough though, and I’m not sure if I will be tackling and different character’s scenario after I’m done. I’m willing to try out more SaGa games (I’ve only played Romancing SaGa (PS2) and Romancing SaGa 2), but they just take so long to finish one character’s playthrough.

The other obsession right now is Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age. This is the base PS4 version and not the definitive edition that came out on all other platforms. I’ve had this game for a while, but for some reason kept going back and forth with it. I’m fully committed right now, and the only thing I worry about right now is not finishing it before I leave for vacation (I’m not packing my PS4 to take with me even though it is tempting). I have also decided to go for the platinum trophy on this one since it feels doable. I don’t know if I will play the definitive version after this, but I will probably get it for my collection and play it again one day.

Other than that, I have hopped back into Final Fantasy XIV. The trailer for Endwalker got me pumped for me and my friend to be edgelord brothers with the release of the Reaper class. Now I just need to finish post-Stromblood and finally figure out what the heck happens in Shadowbringers.


And that is pretty much it. I won’t be completely offline during my “vacation.” I will still be active on Twitter for most of the time. E3 is also happening, so that will be my prime source of new things that are talked about. Once again, there will be one more post after this before I’m gone for the summer, so please enjoy it. I hope you all enjoy this summer and find ways to recharge your mental batteries!

Thanks for reading,

DanamesX

First Update Post of 2021

Hello Hello.

Normally, I would post a monthly update on what I’ve been playing this month, but I wanted to use this time as an update post to let you know what my current and future plans are.

Personal Garbage

At the time of this writing, I am two tasks away from finishing up my Masters program. I have a test at the beginning of June to take and a one month web development class in July; and then I will be done. Finish. Over with. Never again. Stick a fork in me, I’m done. I am a tired man and wish to rest. My free time will be restored and hopefully my anxiety levels will start to fall.

On another quick personal note, hi! I feel like in the past months I have become less social than I was before. Its to no one’s fault as I tend to go into hyper introvert mode and recharge my social energy when needed. Almost all of my Discord and Twitch notifications have been turned off for a while since I felt like I wasn’t contributing anything and I wanted to focus more on what I needed to do at the time. I do still lurk, so if you see an extra eye looking at you it could be me who knows (chanting my name three times at your screen will not summon me). My shell will start to crack again soon and my efforts to be more social will surface again…once I get enough sleep which doesn’t happen a lot. I do plan on going on vacation late June, so hopefully the time away from my normal walls will help with the healing process.

Plans For the Blog

Between now and August, post from me will be all over the place for the most part. I have new material for post that I want to write about and slowly getting my butt into gear writing them. The one thing that I am focusing on right now are post for the month of June. June is normally my month to write multiple post about a specific series/topics with a little more “polish” to the post. I will be talking about Monster Hunter again, but more of a retrospective of each game that I’ve played. Shouldn’t be bad since I only have to cover Tri, 3 Ultimate, Freedom Unite, 4 Ultimate, Generations, Generations Ultimate (XX), World, Rise, Stories, and soon; the original. That’s…going to be a lot to write and talk about. They will mostly be in the style of my Backlog Tales with maybe a little less humor but still have that charm I like to put into my post. So if you are a Monster Hunter fan, I hope you enjoy these posts because it will probably be the last time I talk about it….until the next game comes out.

After that, it will be full on post about the other games in my backlog and anything interesting that comes along. Collaborations posts are always a good time and I’m happy to contribute if I have something to contribute. Whatever comes after that will come after that then.

Streaming Attempt Number Who Knows At This Point

I promise nothing, but since my calendar suddenly just opened up, I have time to do other things. I have attempted streaming in the past, but I couldn’t keep it consistent and only did it on a whim. I want to start utilizing the technology I have to start capturing my own photos and videos for projects, and streaming would kill two birds with one stone. I think the other motivator is that Kat has gotten a sudden interest in streaming. So for now, I will say that I will be streaming more here and there at twitch.tv/danamesx. Also please consider checking out Kat’s streams when she does. I do play games with her there and make cameos as her tech support.

Games I Have Played, Finished and Acquired in April

Since this post is replacing my normal end of the month recap, I thought I would still share the games that I’ve played, finished, and bought this month. I am a little upset with myself this month since I had the opportunity to finish more games than I did. There would have been three more games on my finish list if other things and Monster Hunter Rise didn’t get in my way.

I started Astral Chain on a whim and found myself enjoying it. I definitely have hit the point of repetitiveness with chapter structure, but things move fast and the chapters don’t last that long, so I would say that I am enjoying myself. Looking forward to talking about this one.

On to a frustrating topic, I finally bought Katamari Damacy REROLL on sale and gave it a try. I don’t know if I’m just trying to hard or what, but the controls make me so mad. There are days where the controls make sense and I have no problem playing the game, and then there are times where I barely beat the clock. I know you can change the controls to make it a little easier, but I’ve been practicing with the default too long just to abandon ship and change now. Minus the controls, I enjoy all the other aspects of the game including the not-so-intimidating-whatsoever King of All Cosmos.

There were two games that I finished this month and one of them was obviously Monster Hunter Rise. I will save my thoughts about the game for the post in June. I thought I was done after doing the village quests since that is normally the “story” mode in these games, but nope. The games decides that you need to do the multiplayer hub quest in order to get the “true ending” and regular Monster Hunter experience (some mechanics are like decorations, layered armor, and monsters are locked behind the hub quest and can’t be unlocked through the village quest). Again, I will tackle more of this in June.

The other game that I finished this month was It Takes Two with Kat. We streamed the entire thing on her Twitch channel and I can honestly say I enjoyed 95% percent of it. The game has a lot more going for it than simple cooperative platforming that made it hard to stop playing at times. I wrote a post on it already, so if you want to read my full thoughts on it you can do so there.

As far as games that I got this month, it wasn’t a whole lot. I did find a copy of Super Monkey Ball 2 for a not so bad price and I remember having fun with this game with a friend from college. Didn’t expect my GameCube collection to still be expanding, but here we are. The only other thing that I got was New Pokémon Snap. I originally did not care about this game since I found the N64 game fun, but boring after going through each level. I never understood the hype around it then, and I kinda don’t get the hype around the new game. Kat convinced me to get it for us, and after watching her play and finish it in one day, I can see the “long lasting” appeal to this title. There is definitely more to do in this one and different things can happen depending on when you visit the stage. So I will say New Pokémon Snap surprised me with its content, and I hope those who were counting down the days for this are happy.

Ok that’s enough out of me for the time being. One of these days I will figure out how to end something properly, but until then….go play some games?

Thanks for reading,

DanamesX

What’s In The Box…Weird Can Thing!? A Gift From My Father-In-Law.

So. My in-laws are moving out of their house a “retiring” down to Florida. I enjoyed the visits we made to their house during the summer and holidays, but know it looks like I will have to venture hellscape that is Florida to enjoy board games and beer (Florida is not a bad state, I just hate the heat down there). While my father-in-law is not the gamer that he once was, he does find the time to enjoy gaming when he can. He currently enjoys his Switch and is currently playing his second playthrough of Fire Emblem: Three Houses. His influence got Kat into gaming as well; and it is thanks to him that we have some impressive games in our collection (all five mainline Suikoden games just to name some). However, some of our taste in games don’t line up well since he is a big sports fan and I know how to play a game but suck at everything else.

That brings us to this wonderful…thing that he sent us. For the record, I have zero interest in Nascar. I have no idea why people spend hours watching cars drive in a loop, but if that is your form of entertain then please keep enjoying it. The only reason I know who this person is, Jeff Gordon, is because of all the Nascar fans from my school (I wouldn’t have known it was him without the signature on the can). So why was I given this cooler for a sport that I have no interest in? For the contents inside apparently. While cleaning out their basement, they decided to place all of his old gaming stuff into this container and let me shift through it to see if there was anything that I wanted. I really appreciate the thought of letting me look through them to see if there was anything that I wanted. They know I am a video game buff, and sadly they appreciate it more than most people on my side of the family. However, they did not realize my policy of not selling or getting rid of games that enter my possession; no matter what the game is or if I will ever play it. It is a self imposed rule that I placed on myself after selling games that I regretted in the past. So, let’s see what fun things this cooler holds.

When I opened up the lid, the very first game that greeted me was Fox Sports College Hoops ’99….

Sigh. Okay no big deal. I know that my FIL (just going to start using this abbreviation now) is big into sports, so of course some of these will be sports titles. I have never heard of this game, or who would be in it that I know. Kobe? Is Kobe in this? Who played basketball in 1999? Dirk? Is that you? Obviously I know some sportsball people, just my knowledge is slim when recognizing famous players. To get some of my “meh” findings out of the way, here is a highlight reel of all the other ball games we found in this thing.

Madden 2000. I might have fun with this one. My younger brother made me play a bunch of Madden games with him in the past, so I will have some idea on how to play it.

PGA Tour 98. This isn’t Mario Golf. This is regular golf for people who want to play actual golf (ie. not me).

Triple Play 98. I’ve never really had a problem with baseball. There was a baseball game that we would rent out a lot of times on the N64, but I doubt this is the same brand (I looked it up and it was All-Star Baseball 99; we tried to hit each other with the ball). I’ll give it a whack and see if it is a home run or a foul.

NHL 99. The sticker on the case says that this is the “coolest game on earth.” Obviously this was the case before Club Penguin came into existence.

Triple Play 2000. I don’t remember much from the year 2000, but Kat informed me that she was in Kindergarten at the time. This made me go into a fetal position and deny the fact that I’m old for my age group. Also I’m pissed that my Triple Play collection is now ruined since I’m now missing Triple Play 99.

NCAA Football 2000. What would make the college football games more interesting would be to let the marching band take the field and watch them play a game. Similar to the mascot mode in later games.

Madden 2002. Apparently Madden 2001 wasn’t that great, so he skipped straight to the 2002 version.

And that is all the sports games that were in the cooler. I joke, but I am curious to test run these games even though I’m not sweating at the palm to play them. Realistic sports games are not my jam. I prefer playing games like the Mario spinoffs or any other fun and creative game that uses a sports formula. There might be a ton of people who had fun playing these games back in the day, and I hope seeing them again brought back some good memories. My memories of these games will probably be bad, but don’t let my dismissive mind tarnish yours.


With that out of the way, let’s look at some things that did peek my interest. Some of these I will talk about in more length than the sports games, and some I will have no clue what the public’s reception is to them. If I had to put them in some kind of ranking of excited to own, I would say these games get an eyebrow raise from me.

Sentient. I have no idea what this game is about. The back of the case tells me that this is a 3D adventure game where you have to solve a murder mystery in space…I think. From what I can tell, this game came out early in the PlayStation lifespan and most critics were very critical about it. I’m sure there maybe some redeeming qualities in it, but I will never know until I try it one day. This game is one of the only games that feels odd in my FIL’s games that is outside his normal genres. He likes sports, strategies, and RPGs. Having a semi horror adventure game seems out of place for him to own. Add the fact that their are faded faces in the back ground and the case has semi claw marks on them, I could convince myself that this game is haunted.

Warcraft II: The Dark Saga. I have not played any of the Warcraft games or any other game by Blizzard outside of Overwatch. I have no idea if playing a real-time strategy (RTS) game is comfortable with a controller or not, but sadly I don’t see myself playing this anytime soon.

Jeopardy. Rip to the great legend that was Alex Trebek. Jeopardy will never be the same without him. I used to have a Jeopardy game for PC way back in the day; and surprise surprise I was terrible at it. I imagine I will be terrible at this version since this game came out in 1998. Kat and I will definitely get a kick out it one day and she will dominate me since she is the better one at trivia.


That does it for the mid tier interest level finds from the crate. Again, not bad things, but things that didn’t get me overly excited. These next few items listed are what I consider my highlights from what I found. I thought I had already found the good stuff when I was looking through his games before, but somehow these things skipped my attention at the time.

Riven: The Sequel to Myst. This may sound like blasphemy, but I have never played Myst. That didn’t stop me from being intrigued by what I assume is the collector’s edition of Riven. I have no idea what is going on, but this 5 disc game came with unique slide cases for each disc. For all you Myst buffs out there, this might look really cool to you. I have no idea since this was the first time I realized Myst had a sequel. I have no way at the current time to play this since I lack the software requirement to try (a CD drive), but I’m sure the digital version exist out there. For the time, I will admire how cool and maybe rare this might be (you can tell me in the comments if it is rare or not).

Beyond the Beyond. I have never heard of this game before. What makes me excited to check it out is that this game was developed by Camelot Software Planning. If you don’t know who they are, they mostly now do the excellent Mario Gold and Tennis games, as well the first three Shining Force games and freaking Golden Sun! You can tell that it is from the same developer since they share a lot of aspects in the menus and battle. Some of the screenshots that I’ve seen make this look like an early concept of Golden Sun without the fun Psynergy puzzles to do. Critics didn’t find this game to be special at the time, but I’m always down to try out older JRPGs and see how they stand today. If anything, it will scratch that Camelot RPG itch that I’ve had ever since finishing Golden Sun: Dark Dawn almost 10 years ago.

A Toys ‘R’ Us PlayStation Demo Disk. This still has the factory seal on it, so I guess no one was interested in trying out any of the games on the disk. I’m surprise he held on to since there are some interesting demos on this disk. This disc was trademarked in 1998 and offered some really good games. This disc demoes for the following games:

  • Gran Turismo
  • Blasto
  • Tekken 3
  • Hot Shots Golf
  • Jersey Devil
  • Einhander
  • Gex 2
  • Tomb Raider 2
  • Tomba!

The disc also has some special videos that I’m guessing were teaser trailers at the time. Those videos include:

  • Spyro the Dragon
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • NFL Xtreme
  • MLB ’99
  • Resident Evil 2

Gex alone would have made me play this disc nonstop. I am interested in Hot Shots Golf since it was developed by Camelot Software as well. I know the age of demo disc are a thing of the past, but it is sometimes fun to play old demos and see what a game was at a certain point of development. I’ll pop that seal off one day and do some investigation.

The Final Fantasy Legend. Probably the rarest game that I found in the crate. The Final Fantasy Legend was the first game in the SaGa series that was renamed for us in the states for better sales I’m guessing. I have only played two games in the SaGa franchise and I enjoyed what I played. While this doesn’t have the Free Scenario gameplay that the later titles implement, it might be fun to play an old school RPG and discover its charm. Right now you can play this game on the Switch via the Collection of SaGa if you don’t want to hunt down a copy.

Shadow Madness? Never heard of it. For some reason I get budget title RPG vibes from this. If you have played this game before and loved it, let me know. It looks interesting based on the information on the back of the case. Too bad I won’t be able to test that theory since…

There was no game in the case. How are you going to tease me with this terrible looking game that could be amazing? I’m not going to lie and said this made me want to find the game even more, because while nice I don’t have any intention to seek this out. But why would my FIL just pack an empty case? Did he believe that there was something inside and just packed it in haste? Or, was there something else hidden on the other side of the case (since this is a multi-disc case). Sure enough, I open the other side of the case and found this.

Original release copies of the Final Fantasy Anthology. Why is this here!? Did he lose the case to this at one point and decided to hide them away in a place no one would think to look? Regardless, this might have been my second favorite find out of everything that was packed. I already own these games for the PlayStation, but my copies are the Greatest Hits rereleases that replace the disc art with a generic label. I think that’s what made me excited about finding this since the disc art on these are gorgeous. Final Fantasy V’s disc has the four heroes in different job class outfits. I don’t think I have ever seen this artwork before, so it is a neat bonus. Final Fantasy VI’s disc has the iconic artwork of Terra on the magitek armor overlooking the capital of Vector (I think). Look, I just find this really neat to have since I miss the days of effort in packaging an item. Am I eager to play these…ehh maybe one day when I have the patience to tolerate load times. I do own both of these for the GBA, so it might just be a crossing off my list type of ordeal.


That does it for the games that I found in here. Not all the games I found were bad, just games that will be hanging around until I get the curiosity of playing one day. That doesn’t end all of the other things that were included in this package. There were other random things in there, like tons of PS1 controllers. Most of them were all third party controllers with some I just outright tossed since they were sticky and falling apart. I did keep most of them including a wireless PS1/2 controller that has the L2 and R2 buttons further down the bottom of the controller. I honestly like the design of it since the button rest where my middle fingers would on the dualshock controller. I have to make sure that the receiver that was in the case is the correct one and see if it still works.

As much as the controllers were cool, they were pointless to me since I don’t own an original PlayStation. I came in late to the PlayStation game by getting a PS2 right as the PS3 came out and was the new kid on the block. I had the chance of getting a PS1, but I had no way of justifying the $7 USD price tag and purpose at the time. That’s no longer an issue now since towards the bottom of the container was my FIL’s PlayStation.

The collector side of me is happy since I now almost have a complete PlayStation console collection (looking at you PS5). I may now play my PS1 games through the original console for that “authentic experience.” All I am missing now is the CRT TV.


And that is where the highlights end. I hope this was entertaining for you as it was for me to randomly pull these out of Gordan’s can. My in-laws do want the cooler back, so unfortunately that will not be rotting away in my backyard. There were a few other miscellaneous items inside, but they weren’t much to talk about. There are more boxes to go through that have come from my in-laws house, so if I find anything else interesting that’s worth talking about, I might post them up on my Instagram (trying to force myself to post more there). If you would like for me to do another box opening post in the future, then I would need to go like thrift shopping or visit yard sales or something. Magical boxes full of video game items just don’t show up at my door all the time, so don’t hold your breath something else like this will happen again.

Thanks for reading,

DanamesX