I was shopping out of town yesterday for a new shower curtain at a local grocery store that also carries housewares and some electronics. As always, I ventured into the video game section. I ran across a sale bin that was full of Nintendo DS games, expecting to see your usual Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Hannah Montana and other coaster-worthy games. Much to my surprise, they had a good game among the would-be coasters: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. This is one of the last Zelda games I have left to collect to complete my pre-3DS collection in cartridge form (others include Minish Cap, Oracle of Ages, and Four Swords/Adventures.)
So, I’ve heard that Spirit Tracks has gotten a lot of poor reviews because the developers and writers tore away from the conventions of classic Zelda by incorporating trains. Windwaker had a boat and people still fiercely love that one, so I’m not sure why alternative land transportation has garnered so much more hatred. I knew the feelings in general about the game were negative, but this game was priced at $0.94. Canadian. Not even the very worst games are priced that low in retail stores, or even in flea markets for that matter.
I was baffled and picked up a copy, wondering if it was actually the original thing since I hadn’t ever really looked into the handheld DS Zelda games very much. I also wondered if the store had made some sort of mistake. After all, the game sticker had said Wii Scooby on it, but they all said that. To compound the situation’s lack of clarity, I have a lack of data capability on my phone and couldn’t look anything up. I bought a copy anyway and crossed my fingers that it wasn’t some sort of trick.
After driving home, I decided to do a little research. The sealed, brand new copies of this game are still going for at least $30 CAD on many different sites. Sometimes it’s even double that depending on the source. Not sure what to think, I was kicking myself for not buying all of them when I had the chance. There were at least 10 copies there in the bin, and with the Curse of Hindsight Revelation weighing down on me, I was cringing at the thought of the required several hour drive to go back and procure them. In desperation, I contacted a friend of mine that lives there. He has agreed to go and pick up however many copies he can find that are left, so hopefully he does manage to get a few. I’d love to have them for the game swap coming up, or even maybe to sell at a discounted rate to fund my other gaming purchases. This game collecting hobby certainly doesn’t come cheap!
Cross your fingers for me, and thanks for reading.
Update: There were no more Spirit Tracks games at the store when my friend went back to check for us. The store either realized their error, or someone bought them all up. Either way, I am at peace with the fact that I only paid $1 for a probably great game that goes for at least $30-40 at a screaming sale price. Next time I will have to somehow be more prepared.