For me, 2023 was a mixture of happiness, frustration, fun times, and, in a way, adventure. I made progress with both my video game and movie collections, got to see my family on my Birthday as well as Christmas, went to Monster Jam, and even looked in three malls (in different cities) and more than fifteen stores for a Chuck E. Cheese Funko Pop figure. There were plenty of good and bad days, but there were enough good times that I thought I'd make a blog about some of the highlights of the year and look back.
MegaMan52 Looks Back on 2023
New Additions to My Video Game and Movie Collections
I added several new games and movies to my collections, but also had to take breaks due to running out of space in my game room. This meant I had to put some new additions to my video game collection in other rooms if I wanted to continue collecting.
There were some notable additions to my collection this year. I got Sonic & Knuckles Collection for PC, continued building up my collection of imports (such as the Japanese release of Mario Tennis for Game Boy Color), got collector's edition packages of Killzone 3 for PS3 and SoulCalibur IV for Xbox 360, and got some free games like Dr. Mario for NES. I also got some related items, such as posters and toys.
I checked some ads, and remember visiting different towns and cities to pick up some PS3 and Xbox 360 games. One of the games I bought that required a fair bit of driving to pick up was the 2013 Tomb Raider game for PS3. At least it didn't cost very much ($5).
However, the highlight was this Super Pac-Man Arcade1Up machine. It has seven games: Pac-Man, Super Pac-Man, Pac-Mania, Pac-Land, Galaga, Galaxian, and Dig Dug. I also made a blog about it. Another highlight was a near-mint, fully complete copy of Top Gun: The Second Mission for the NES.
And just before the 31st, I bought another collector's package: Forza Motorsport 3 Limited Collector's Edition for Xbox 360.
For movies/shows, I bought Seasons 4 and 5 of Cobra Kai on DVD, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles on 4K, The (new) Super Mario Bros. Movie on 4K (also included standard Blu-ray), and others. I remember I had a little bit of a hard time finding season 4 of Cobra Kai, as I couldn't find it at either Walmart and other stores. I eventually found it at Sunrise Records. I also got the complete series of Heathcliff on DVD for Christmas. I visited the Salvation Army, and bought some James Bond movies on VHS (even though I already have almost the entire series on Blu-ray) and season 2 of The Simpsons on DVD.
Watching The (New) Super Mario Bros. Movie
I watched The Super Mario Bros. Movie in the Theater, complete with soda, popcorn, and a Mario shirt.
Before that, I went to McDonald's earlier in the year and bought a Happy Meal that included a Super Mario Bros. Movie box and a toy. I went to nearly ten McDonald's locations searching for the toys. Some of the toys were sold out, but I managed to collect most of them.
I later bought the movie on 4K. I also got a Mario movie poster.
I went to Monster Jam in the summer. The seat I sat in was located approximately in the middle, and was neither too high or to low. I was high enough that I could see the traffic in the distance as well as the stadium's parking lot. The entire stadium was packed, and there was no shortage of noise (yet I still have near-perfect hearing). I drank some soda and ate some popcorn. I also got a Grave Digger toy.
A little before the show, I bought Monster Jam: Maximum Destruction for GameCube.
I didn't play online as much this year, but continued to play some games that I've been playing online for a few years now.
I've played a lot of Super Kirby Clash for the Switch since 2020 or so, both online and offline. I've managed to complete the main offline single player modes, get the best weapons and armor, and earn all platinum medals. This year, I also reached the maximum level (meaning my Kirby has maxed out stats and is as strong as he can be). I played a little Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as well (the Switch game I've played the most).
I also downloaded the Switch's Game Boy app, and played through both Super Mario Land 2 and Kirby's Dream Land 2 (both of which I also have for the original Game Boy).
I made quite a few blogs in 2023. Anyone who's read any of my blogs knows that they're long. Probably the longest and most time-consuming blogs I made this year were my Super Mario Sunshine and Kirby Air Ride blogs. I guess I had to get the point across that despite how much these games have been criticized in the past, they are good games.
I also made blogs about Mega Man 5 for NES and Mega Man II for the original Game Boy, explaining why Mega Man 5 is one of my favorite Mega Man games and why Mega Man II on Game Boy (another underrated game) is actually pretty good.
Some other blogs I made this year, which took several weeks to complete, were my Pac-Man World and Sega Master System blogs. A little unfortunate that these blogs didn't get as much appreciation as some of my other blogs, especially considering the amount of stress I was under making them and how much time it took to complete them.
My most recent blogs, as of this writing, are my Super Pac-Man Arcade1Up and top 10 bootleg games/systems blogs.
Contributing in the NES, GameCube, Game Boy, and Game Boy Color Library Topics
Earlier in the year, I played through a lot of NES games. One of the games I played was Kirby's Adventure. I played through the game's Extra mode (harder difficulty) and completed the game 100%.
Later in the year, I decided to get back to playing games for the GameCube. I played through ten GameCube games in one month, including all four Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell games released for the console and some of the Tony Hawk games (like Tony Hawk's Underground). When playing through the first Splinter Cell, I decided to be fancy and play the PAL release (I played through the American release last year).
I also played through a bunch of games for the original Game Boy, like the first three Mega Man games for the system, Super Mario Land, Donkey Kong Land 3, Kirby's Dream Land, Tiny Toon Adventures: Babs' Big Break, and others.
For Game Boy Color, I played through Deja Vu 1 and 2: The Casebooks of Ace Harding and Donkey Kong Country. While playing Donkey Kong Country, I used the SNES-style Hori Digital Controller for GameCube (played with the Game Boy Player) to play the game with basically the same controls as the SNES version.
I'll likely play through more games for these systems in 2024.
Visiting Chuck E. Cheese
I visited Chuck E. Cheese multiple times this year when I needed to reduce my stress levels, and take a short break from the difficulties of adulthood.
Besides eating pizza (which tastes good, BTW) and playing games, I got a few goodies from their gift shop and even went on an "adventure" looking for the Retro Chuck E. Cheese Funko Pop that was released this year. One of the items I got from the restaurant was a Birthday shirt. It wasn't available in adult sizes, so I had to buy it in youth XL.
In the spring, I tried one of their desserts: Unicorn Churros. The cup has a picture of Ronnie the Unicorn on it. I also got their "rainbow" cotton candy.
During the summer, I got a Summer Fun Pass. After paying for the pass, the pass basically allowed me to play games for free when visiting during the summer. I was given a lanyard, which I had to wear so they knew I got the pass then they put half an hour of time (for playing the games) on either my card or wristband (both of which I got in 2022, and the latter was given to me on my Birthday).
I ate one of their limited ice cream deserts: Dippin' Dots Summer Crunch. It was basically cookies and cream and cotton candy ice cream.
I looked in three malls and more than fifteen stores looking for this Funko Pop. Some of the stores I went to were Walmart, Toys R Us, Sunrise Records, Hot Topic, Best Buy, and GameStop. I eventually found it at one store in a large mall. They only had one left, and the guy I talked to didn't even know they had one. It was hiding under the counter.
I collected all of the character cups, and also got a plastic collector's cup. I got the blue cup in the front on my Birthday in 2022. Even though it is technically complete, it seems incomplete because there are actually six main Chuck E. Cheese characters now. The sixth main character is a bunny named Bella, who speaks both English and Spanish (and led to the Chuck E. Cheese website and some of the songs being available in both languages).
Some other Chuck E. Cheese items I bought were an '80s Chuck E. Cheese token and a modern Chuck E. Cheese hat. Both were bought on eBay.
I visited Chuck E. Cheese once more this year on my Birthday. I've had two of my Birthdays there. I contacted my family and told them I was interested in having my Birthday at Chuck E. Cheese again, so my parents got a Birthday package and reserved a table. I went there on my actual Birthday, not before or after.
My Birthday is in October, so I was there during their Halloween "Boo-tacular" event. After a long drive (there isn't a Chuck E. Cheese nearby), I went inside the restaurant and my server greeted me. I noticed a Halloween display on the counter, showing their limited edition Halloween items. My table was already decorated with a cloth, and there were already cups, plates, plastic utensils, and hats on it. There was also a Birthday sign with my (real) name on it.
Though I still had my card and wristband from last year, I was given a red wristband with some points on it for playing the games. I was also given another card with some extra points on it, which I can use on a future visit in 2024. I played some Skee Ball (a.k.a., Alleyroller Classic) with my family, and we all had a lot of fun. Yes, even my parents played.
We got a pumpkin-shaped, stuffed crust pepperoni pizza (as well as some other pizzas). It tasted really good.
Chuck E. visited our table, and I got to sing, dance, and get my picture taken with him. Since I like the character and it was my Birthday, I also gave him a hug (I was nice and asked him first). I wore the Chuck E. Cheese Birthday shirt and hat I bought earlier in the year.
I got to use their Ticket Blaster (wind tunnel). I had to grab as many tickets as I could in thirty seconds. I was also given some "magic" tickets, worth a thousand tickets each.
I got a collection of '80s Ninja Turtles comic and some other things for presents.
After opening presents, I went to the gift shop/prize counter and asked if they still had any Halloween merch. I remember reading about the Chuck E. Cheese Halloween merch on the website in 2022, but they were sold out on my Birthday then. Luckily, they still had some on my Birthday in 2023. I bought (yes, I paid for these items even though it was my Birthday) a Vampire Chuck E. Cheese Plush, a light up cup, and a purple Halloween bucket. I used my tickets to get a Sonic the Hedgehog toy (Tails).
I brought home some pumpkin pepperoni pizza with me, while my family took home the other pizzas. I also brought home some cake with a picture of Chuck E. Cheese.
They even gave me the Birthday sign with my name on it.
On Halloween, I carved a pumpkin with a picture of Chuck E. Cheese (Chuck o' Lantern).
I've gotten a lot of goodies for Christmas in the past, especially last year and this year.
I got to see my family and watch movies, like National Lampoons Christmas Vacation and Polar Express. I watched a few movies by myself, like the original Christmas Specials (Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer) on Blu-ray, my original copy of Berenstain Bears Christmas Tree on VHS, Christopher the Christmas Tree on VHS (which is a little uncommon), and others.
On the 25th, I ate some turkey and ate lots of treats (cookies, fudge, etc.). And, of course, I got lots of presents (many of which were video game related).
Some of the presents I got were Christmas ornaments, a wireless gaming mouse, a Coca-Cola branded Popcorn Maker, and a 2024 Mario Calendar. My family, of course, knows I like Chuck E. Cheese (I've had two of my Birthdays there, as I mentioned above), and I was given a retro-style Chuck E. Cheese shirt (which is adult sized) and a modern-style Chuck E. Cheese picture that my brother painted.
MegaMan52 Blog #29 completed.
2023 wasn't the greatest year for me, though there were still some good times and it was, not surprisingly, better than 2020 and 2021. I don't know exactly what I'm going to do next year. For my game collection, for example, I don't know yet if I'm going to focus on a particular system or if I'm possibly going to buy a newer console. Maybe I'll keep buying more imports, or buy another Arcade machine. I'll likely continue making more blogs, though I don't know yet what I'm going to be talking about (a particular game? A console? Somewhere I visited? An event?).
I might post another blog on New Year's Eve.
Thanks for reading. See you in 2024.
Edited by MegaMan52
Fixed typos and added pictures